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Monday 24 September 2018
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Govt to sue Nyree over Superfast Galicia

QUESTIONS: Attorney Nyree Alfonso, former Port Authority general manager Charmaine Lewis, former Transport Minister Devant Maharaj and Opposition senator Saddam Hosein at a press conference on the Galleons Passage at Alfonso’s St Vincent Street, Port of Spain office on Sunday.
QUESTIONS: Attorney Nyree Alfonso, former Port Authority general manager Charmaine Lewis, former Transport Minister Devant Maharaj and Opposition senator Saddam Hosein at a press conference on the Galleons Passage at Alfonso’s St Vincent Street, Port of Spain office on Sunday.

ONE day after maritime attorney Nyree Alfonso criticised the Government’s purchase of the Galleons Passage, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi has announced that the State is preparing to take legal action against her for her role in the procurement of the Superfast Galicia.

In a press conference yesterday at the Ministry of Works, London Street in Port of Spain, Al-Rawi said the Government is seeking possible damages against Alfonso for breach of fiduciary duty while she was working for the Port Authority as an adviser, to help them source a vessel to replace the Warrior Spirit on the inter-island seabridge.

While Alfonso was working for the port, her firm ND Alfonso & Co, had also been invited to tender as part of the procurement process.

Intercontinental Shipping Ltd, which had not been invited to tender, subsequently replaced Alfonso’s company’s bid, allegedly acting as its broker.

Intercontinental, the agents for the Superfast Galicia, won the bid. Al-Rawi said since Alfonso allegedly profited from the arrangement, it was a breach of trust in her duty to the PATT. Alfonso, said Al-Rawi, had also submitted an invoice for $840,750 to the port for her part in the negotiations with Intercontinental, for which she was paid.

He said proceedings against Alfonso will be filed in the court soon. The government has already taken Intercontinental to court for a breach of contract when they withdrew the Galicia from service in April 2017. Al-Rawi said the dissolution of the Galicia’s contract directly led to the government’s decision to source a new vessel for the seabridge, eventually settling on the Galleons Passage.

Al-Rawi couldn’t give a date when the action against Intercontinental was filed. Alfonso’s case, though, is expected to be filed “before next month” as the State was waiting on the pre-action protocol process to be exhausted.

Specifically, the government is seeking an account of profit or positions obtained by Alfonso while she held the capacity as the principal for the Superfast Galicia.

Al-Rawi said the government was seeking the account of profit, which is a legal recourse for recouping profits gained through breach of fiduciary duty, or other damages for such a breach.

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