Former Housing minister Dr Roodal Moonilal is one of four people and three companies accused in a lawsuit filed by the Estate Management and Business Development Company (EMBD) of engaging in an elaborate scheme of bid-rigging, bribery and collusion which led to hundreds of millions of dollars being disbursed to five contractors just prior to the 2015 general elections.
The lawsuit against Moonilal; former EMBD chief executive Gary Parmassar; former divisional manager at EMBD Madhoo Balroop; Andrew Walker; and companies Fides Limited; Namalco Construction; and LCB Contractors was filed in the Port of Spain High Court yesterday and announced by the Office of the Attorney General in a media release.
According to the statement, the lawsuit concerns ten contracts awarded in August 2015 to five contractors for the upgrade and rehabilitation of certain Caroni access roads and two contracts for rehabilitation works.
The five contractors were identified by the ministry as: TN Ramnauth and Company Limited (TN Ramnauth); Mootilal Ramhit and Sons Contracting Limited (Ramhit); Kall Company Limited (Kallco); Namalco Construction Services Limited (Namalco); and Fides Limited (Fides).
The release said the EMBD lawsuit alleged breach of fiduciary duty, cartel behaviour, bribery, collusion, knowing receipt, dishonest assistance and unlawful means conspiracy.
The EMBD is also seeking compensation and repayment of sums paid. The ministry said those named as defendants in the lawsuit are expected to be served with the court action in the coming days.
Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Stuart Young, in October, announced the State’s intention to pursue legal action against Moonilal and the others.