FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert said while Stephen Cadiz was transport minister, his relatives ran a company that maintained the water taxis. He made the claim Thursday, at a People’s National Movement public meeting at the Barataria Community Centre as part of the campaign for the July 6 by-election for Barataria and Belmont East.
He said when the water taxi service took possession of the water taxis in 2010, there was a need for a third party to maintain the commercial engines. Imbert said the UNC changed the agent for the engines from a company called Trintrac to a Venezuelan company, SVF International, but government began having problems with the latter. “And out of the blue a Trinidadian company joined up with SVF from Venezuela and made it a company called SVF Trinidad and Tobago. And they were the local agent to service the engines on the water taxis since November 2014,” Imbert said. He added that the local company was Tropical Power Ltd. “And shareholders of Tropical Power is another company called Tropical Holdings Ltd and an individual called Stephen Cadiz. That’s why I say I feel ashamed,” Imbert said. He added that NIDCO raised a red flag about the company because Cadiz was transport minister between September 2013 and and June 2015 and was therefore the line minister for the water taxi service at the time SVF T&T was formed. “I have all the records here,” Imbert stated.
He said when Cadiz went into government, he put his son to run the company and transferred his shares to his wife. He added the annual returns for 2018, showed that Cadiz was back in the company.
He said the same company was maintaining the engines for six of the fast patrol craft for the Coast Guard purchased under the Patrick Manning administration from Australia but none of them were currently working. “That matter will go where it has to go and will be dealt with by those who deal with those things.”
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said on Thursday, Cabinet approved a number of millions to complete the eTeck industrial park in Wallerfield. “So the dream that was stopped and killed by the said Stephen Cadiz. You heard his name called hear tonight? So while you was shutting down the eTeck park, leaving it there to gather dust and moss because they have no vision for the future of this or the other generation they was preparing their own family pocket – well lined and well secured.” Also in his speech Imbert said Government was able to cut $10 billion in public expenditure and the country was still running and this was because of previous corruption and mismanagement. “Obviously they were tiefin’ (sic).” He said Government expected to collect 21.9 billion in revenues by April and ended up collecting 23.2 billion.