“I have no comment to make. It is going to be war this time.”
That was the response of a senior Government official suspected of being involved in “criminal conspiracy” involving the granting of several tenancies for State land.
Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries Clarence Rambharat has written to Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith asking for a probe into the matter.
Contacted by the Sunday Express on April 2 and informed of the details of Rambharat’s complaint and the fact it was sent to the Prime Minister and the Commissioner of Police, and it alleged involvement in a criminal-level conspiracy to grant a benefit to a daughter and other relatives, the official said: “I have no comment to make.”
The official repeatedly made this same statement when given more information about the allegations.
“Let the minister proceed to do whatever he has to do. I have no comment,” the official said.
The official then claimed awareness of the Sunday Express having this “conversation” because it wanted to publish a story.
“You all could deal with it however you all want to deal with it, but I will deal with it accordingly. But yuh see this time, I am not putting up with Clarence Rambharat. Okay? And neither Ria Taitt. It is going to be war this time,” the official said. “I know that you are taping... and you’re going to use this conversation for your newspaper article.”
Asked whether Rambharat was being unfair in his assessment, the official said: “I have no comment about Rambharat or anybody. Ms Taitt, you are gathering information for your article right now, aren’t you?”
Told of the allegations and the alleged relationship with the people who were granted tenancies, the official then replied: “Okay. Can I ask you to speak to my lawyer, then? So I will have my lawyer call you during the week and you can speak to my lawyer with regard to that (matter).”
The official explained that the lawyer was not available that day since it was a holiday weekend.
On Wednesday (April 7), the Sunday Express called the official and got no answer.
A WhatsApp message was then sent, reminding of the conversation on April 2, in which a promise was made to have the lawyer contact this reporter.
Shortly after the WhatsApp message was sent, this reporter received a phone call from attorney Kavita Persad, who confirmed she was calling on her client’s behalf.
Persad said the official did not want to comment and did not want to be contacted or harassed with respect to this matter.
“Harassed?” the Sunday Express asked.
“I am acting on instructions so I am limited according to my instructions,” Persad said.
She wished this reporter a good day as the conversation ended.