Government will act on Eden Garden deal

The Honourable Stuart Young, Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs

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.”

 For full story, see link here.

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