Government will act on Eden Garden deal
From the T&T Express, August 22, 2017: The Government is committed to following through on any reports of money laundering that it receives as a result of the Eden Garden investigation and litigation.
At a news conference on July 7, Minister in the Office of the Attorney General, Stuart Young, said the Government had commenced a civil suit against several former government officials over the purchase of 50 acres of land at Eden Gardens for $175 million in 2012.
The land had been independently valued by property valuers Linden Scott, who assessed the acreage at $52 million. However, a valuer attached to the Commissioner of Valuations valued the 50-acre parcel at $180 million. The land was then purchased by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) for $175 million, giving the impression of a $5 million discount.
At the news conference in July, Young said the Government's case alleges that a $50,000 payment was made to an individual at the Valuation Division of the Ministry of Finance. The payment is linked to a valuation that was “substantially inflated”.
At last Thursday's post-Cabinet news conference, Young was asked if any local commercial bank was in jeopardy as a result of the enquiries into corruption involving the purchase of the large parcel of land at Eden Gardens in Central Trinidad.
Young said: “If in our continuing investigations and developments we believe there has been any breach of the law by any financial institution, we certainly will bring it to the attention of the regulator.”
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