Money owing to Virgin Atlantic …”$8 MILLION FRAUD IN TOBAGO”

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So who is the official responsible for a $8 million fraud at the office of the Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation at Sangster’s Hill, Tobago?

Is that official still on the job? Is that person a contract worker? Now that the Fraud Squad has been called in, would that official be sent on leave?

It is alleged a senior Tobago House of Assembly (THA) transport official, after receiving an alleged email from Virgin Atlantic Airways about a change in their bank account, gave instructions for monies meant for the airline to be wired to the new account based in the UK.

The money was subsequently withdrawn and the account closed and it was later discovered that Virgin Atlantic never collected the sum, which was for airlift agreements between the UK and Tobago. The official has since claimed his account was hacked.

It was also alleged a similar incident occurred in July 2016, where the same officer caused the division to place $1.6 million, meant for agents in Miami for the upcoming cruise ship season, into a wrong account.

Fraud Squad officers visited both the building housing the audio visual unit and the main building, which houses all the administrative officers, and questioned accounting staff. Division Secretary Nadine Stewart-Phillips was present.

Speaking at the news conference on Tuesday, Opposition Assemblyman Farley Augustine called for the Executive Council to give answers on the issue, as well as send all individuals involved on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation

He said the latest incident was symptomatic of how the THA does its accounts.

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Farley Augustine

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