Just last month, a report surfaced that $8 million was misappropriated from the Culture Division of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).
Now comes news that $16 million has gone from the East Port-of-Spain Development Company Limited (EPoS).
A forensic audit has unearthed a scheme of unauthorized cheque payments to the value of approximately $16 million to a company affiliated with an EPoS employee over the period 2014 to 2017.
A report was made to the Fraud Squad, who launched a criminal investigation, but EPoS says it will also pursue civil action to recover the monies that were misappropriated, Minister of Housing and Urban Development Randall Mitchell, under whose ambit EPoS falls, said in a media release on Tuesday.
The forensic probe initiated in November was prompted by financial discrepancies which were discovered in October. EPoS management brought it to the attention of the board, who in turn raised it with Mitchell.
Mitchell assured that there would be “zero impunity for those with questions to answer where the misappropriation, fraud or mismanagement of public funds is concerned.”
He said his ministry remains firmly committed to the principles of good governance and will continue to pursue the speedy recovery of public monies intended primarily for the improvement of the quality of life for those communities in East Port-of-Spain.
EPoS was incorporated as a limited liability company on September 15, 2005, became operational in April 2006 and receives funding from the Infrastructure Development Fund.
Housing Minister Randall Mitchell with members of the EPOS Board.