Four more charged in Trinidad flood relief scam
(Trinidad Guardian) Four more people have been implicated in a flood relief grant scam. Police sources said Friday that Fraud Squad detectives arrested and charged four new suspects and one of the ten that were previously charged over the scam on Thursday.
The group was expected to appear in the Port-ofSpain Magistrate’s Court to answer the charges on Friday but police were forced to reschedule their court appearance as it coincided with the preliminary inquiry into the murder of former Independent Senator Dana Seetahal, SC.
During weekly hearings of the Seetahal case, the court does not facilitate people making their first appearance in court due to stringent security measures put in place for Seetahal’s preliminary inquiry. The accused fraudsters are expected to appear in court tomorrow.
Last Monday, 10 people, including a Ministry of Social Development and Family Services employee, 3am, six men wearing masks stormed the house and snatched the family. were charged with fraud in connection with flood relief grants. They are Farrah Haniff, Heather GriffithBenjamin, Michael Alexis, Carol Christopher-Bennett, Debbie Critchlow, Adelephia Lallion, Ajay Ramlakhan, Ramlakhan’s common-law wife Mandisa Stewart, Darren Balcon and his common-law wife Rohini Persad.
Haniff, a clerk at the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, is solely facing five charges for forging and uttering five of the ministry’s emergency relief and recovery assistance forms which were used to obtain the grants. She is jointly charged with Griffith-Benjamin, Alexis, ChristopherBennett, Ramlakhan and Stewart for fraudulently obtaining the grants by pretending to be victims of flooding, which devastated parts of La Horquetta, St Helena and Kelly Village and Caroni in mid-October.
Critchlow, Lallion, Balcon and Persad are charged separately with fraudulent obtaining two grants that were paid to Balcon and Critchlow. The offences are alleged to have taken place between October 25 and November 13.
Since the flooding on October 19, the ministry has reportedly distributed over $80 million in relief The mother said there has been no ransom demand and no word from the grants to over 5,000 fami- lies across T&T. Each Sooknanans. The Sooknanans live at Jhulai Branch Trace, Penal Rock Road. household received tween $15,000 be- and $20,000 depending on they had children. if
Ricardo and and Isabella Sooknanan