Questions for Foster – CoP confirms probe into minister’s activities

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Foster Cummings [USE AS HEADSHOT] –

Acting Police Commissioner Mc Donald Jacob said the report involving Youth Development and National Service Minister Foster Cummings is currently under investigation.

Speaking to Newsday after visiting the Office for Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) disaster preparedness caravan on the Brian Lara Promenade, Port of Spain, on Friday, Jacob said, the matter was being investigated.

“We saw the document, a document coming from the TTPS in 2019, I want to emphasise 2019. Yes, I contacted the Special Branch, and we are looking at the matter, and that is all I can say at this point in time: that we are dealing with the situation.”

The document, which was read from by Opposition Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial at the UNC’s TT Speaks Event on Thursday, alleges that Cummings was involved in several illegal activities involving Housing Development Corporation (HDC) lands. It also alleges improper behaviour in relation to government contracts and an association with alleged criminals.

The report seemed to originate from the police Special Branch.

Speaking to Newsday on Friday, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds said he had contacted the Special Branch to determine whether the report was authentic. He said if it was confirmed to be authentic, his problem was with how it ended up in the hands of the Opposition.

“What they don’t know, is that all of those documents are coded. And information that has come to me demonstrates that document was directed by the police Special Branch to a particular police officer in 2019 and they have proof that it was sent only to one particular police officer.

“So now that it is in the public domain…the question we will ask is: how did that document, which was issued to one particular police officer in 2019, end up in the public domain scandalously and in bacchanal?”

Speaking at a media conference at his office on Friday evening, a visibly upset Cummings said the document, whether it was legitimate or not, contained serious, dangerous and inaccurate information.

The covering letter of a Special Branch secret report detailing certain activities of Minister of Youth Development and National Service Foster Cummings, as shown by Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial during a UNC political meeting in La Romaine on Thursday evening. –

“The allegation that I purchased three parcels of HDC land at Pt Lisas, Couva, is completely false. I own a parcel of land at Baliser Street West, Pt Lisas, which was purchased from a private individual. My wife is the owner of a parcel of land at the corner of Southern Main Road and Balisier Street East, Pt Lisas, also purchased from a private individual. Our family home is located on the Southern Main Road in Pt Lisas on lands purchased from the HDC. All properties owned by my wife and I have been properly declared to the Integrity Commission. Neither I nor my family has any connection to an HDC property located at Ibis Avenue in Pt Lisas.”

He said he was a director of Pical Services Ltd (PSL) but resigned managerial duties in 2016 when he became a parliamentary secretary.

“Pical Services Ltd was established 20 years ago and has historically conducted business with both government agencies and private clients. PSL was duly contracted to conduct work for the HDC over many years. However, no such contract exists for work at the Indian Trail Recreation Ground. This project was being undertaken pro bono by PSL as a gift to the community where I was born and where I grew up.

“I am unaware of any company called Cyldeon, as mentioned in the alleged police documents. However, I am aware that PSL, in the past, performed work for a company Clydon Enterprises Ltd. I’m also aware that Clydon Enterprises Ltd, a limited liability company, was contracted to construct the Indian Trail Community Centre.

“I wish to categorically state that I have no connection, business or otherwise, with the gentleman referred to in the report by the name of Keda Hercules. I was not engaged in the formation of any village council in the Edinburgh 500 area.”

Cummings said the use of the document on a political platform was a calculated attack on his character, which he rejected in the strongest possible terms.

Lutchmedial, on Thursday night, had called on the Prime Minister to say whether he was aware of this report and the allegations contained in it.

She said, as chairman of the National Security Council, Dr Rowley must have been aware of the July 5, 2019, Special Branch report which outlined the investigation into the activities of the then senator.

“Every time the PNM accuses the UNC of something, it’s because they are doing it already. Every time they come to wash their mouth on us, they try to create a distraction and deflection.

“They say UNC MPs are linked to gang leaders in the East-West Corridor. They ever show you any Special Branch report to support this allegation?” Lutchmedial asked.

Newsday’s attempts to contact Dr Rowley for comment via Whatsapp message on Friday were unsuccessful.