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Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan yesterday denied he owns or has shares in Canadian-based firm Bridgemans Services Group LP.
His comments came after several posts surfaced yesterday on Facebook accusing Sinanan of being the owner of Bridgemans Services - the company that leased the Port Authority of T&T (PATT) the controversial passenger vessel Ocean Flower 2 for one year before its contract was terminated because it had failed to arrive here by the July 15 deadline.
The contract was terminated by PATT on Tuesday and Sinanan made the announcement of the decision yesterday, triggered a plethora of calls for him and the PATT board to resign after more information challenging Bridgemans’ track record and the vessel’s history was unearthed by the media.
Sinanan admitted that he was “fed up” of hearing his “name calling in all kinds of things.” He said people had “been advertising on Facebook” that he owns Bridgemans Services.
“What stupidness is that? If I am the owner the Integrity Commission must have that on file. I declared all my assets up front,” he said.
“I don’t have to hide anything. I will go to jail by hiding a company that I own worth millions of dollars. I own Bridgemans Services?… so then all those people working for me then? And then I fooling the Integrity Commission? Once that is so I have to go to jail then, because it means that I lying to the Integrity Commission.”
Sinanan said apart from claims he was the owner, he also heard his wife and nephew were co-owners of the foreign company.
He said if people have evidence that he owns the vessels they can bring it forward.
“But you can’t bring nothing forward. You cannot prove anything but you are tarnishing people’s name. Anybody call me I willing to talk to them. I took that decision to stop that boat because I am not satisfied with what I am hearing and seeing. I could only terminate that on the grounds that they missed the deadline date.”
Sinanan said the first time he met officials from Bridgemans Services was when the Cabo Star arrived in Trinidad last month and they toured the vessel.
“I never saw those people after that,” he said.
Apart from him facing attack, Sinanan said Port Authority chairman Alison Lewis’ name was also being dragged through the mud.
“I only known her (Lewis) for three months and I can’t describe how straight that lady is.”
The minister said he also did not make the final decision for the Ocean Flower 2 to be leased.
“All these decisions go to Cabinet. Cabinet would look at it and they would make a decision.”