Report: Police mishandled $49m in ‘seized funds’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Police Administration Building, Port of Spain. File photo/Jeff Mayers

THE police erred in their handling of $49 million in questionable monies seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act, according to the Report of the Auditor General on the Public Accounts of TT (2023) laid in the House of Representatives last Friday. The document by Auditor General Jaiwantie Ramdass detailed the Seized Asset Fund account at the Central Bank as at October 1, 2022.

The report said the police, in error, had transferred $49 million into the seized asset fund, but it was then sent to be kept in trust with the Comptroller of Accounts, “pending the outcome of investigation and/or court cases.” A detention order allows such temporary confiscation, while a forfeiture order after a court ruling allows permanent confiscation, the report said.

The fund now stands at $4,793,611, the report said. In 2022, it had once reached $53 million, based on the wrongly deposited $49 million.