Ramesh: ‘Incidents’ on public road *

 Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj

A&V Oil and Gas Ltd stands to receive an estimated $84 million in cash being held in escrow, at the close of an arbitration ruling involving the now-defunct State-owned energy company Petrotrin.

The ruling was made by an arbitration tribunal headed by Sir Dennis Byron, former president of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), and included Lord David Hope, and retired judge Humphrey Stollmeyer.

In the unanimous decision earlier this month, the tribunal found that the claimant (A&V Oil) is entitled to payment of the sum of $84,699,879.47 for unpaid invoices between June 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, together with a rate of interest of three per cent per annum from the due date of each invoice, until the date when the principal sum was paid into escrow.

Additionally, A&V Oil is entitled to payment in the sum of US$2,284,398.40 in respect of the amounts invoiced for crude oil supplied between January 1, 2018, and February 28, 2018, together with a rate of interest of three per cent per annum from the due when each payment fell due, until the date of the court’s award.

In September 2017 Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar cited an internal audit of Petrotrin which indicated the State-owned oil company had paid $100 million to A&V Oil & Gas—which is owned by Haniff Baksh—for oil which was not ­supplied.

A&V’s contract was terminated by Petrotrin following an investigation on December 22, 2017, in a bid to “protect its interests”.

In the ruling, the three arbiters held that Petrotrin failed to establish A&V engaged in seal tampering or any inappropriate practices in the process of delivering crude oil and was entitled to payment.

They also held that Petrotrin did not have reasonable grounds for suspecting that A&V misconducted itself and was entitled to compensation for the wrongful termination of the agreement.

It was also held that Petrotrin’s counter-claim that the company did not have reasonable grounds for suspecting A&V engaged in fraudulent activity did not have reasonable grounds.

Following this, a legal team led by Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC has been seeking arbitration on the matter on behalf of A&V Oil.


On the sands of Manzanilla Beach on Trinidad’s East Coast, Spiritual Shouter Baptist believer Tameka Harris stood in the darkness before daybreak among the worshippers who had brought her there to be cleansed of her troubles.

There was a full moon and the tide was low that early morning in March.

The Government-imposed Covid-­19 restrictions at that time said beaches and coastal waters were open to the public from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

However, at 4.16 a.m., Tameka slipped away from the others, shed her clothing and walked into the sea where she died.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday implored the population to get vaccinated, as he expressed horror over three generations of a family being wiped out by Covid-19.

Speaking at the post-Cabinet news conference in Tobago, Rowley further warned that it would be “foolish” to think the deadly Delta variant would not come to Trinidad and Tobago, as he emphasised vaccination is the best defence.

The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Amendment Bill will be proclaimed on Monday, signalling the start of the process for fresh THA elections. Upon proclamation, the bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

Hindu families losing loved ones to the Covid virus are suffering financial hardships of having to pay high costs for indoor cremation, says pundit Navin Maharaj.

Maharaj has officiated four Hindu funeral services for members of a Cunupia family in a space of 25 days. Three of the family members, Surujdaye Heeraman, her daughter Parbatee John and grand daughter, Sohanee, died of the Covid virus.

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