The T&T Police Service’s White Collar Crime Unit will be speaking with United National Congress Princes Town MP Barry Padarath concerning an investigation when he returns from overseas.
Padarath, who’s been in Miami since T&T’s borders closed in March, is working on returning perhaps by next week––and he says he’ll co-operate with any authority if the need arises.
The T&T Guardian received information on the situation from senior police sources yesterday. Over the last month, it’s been reported that a very close relative of Padarath has become a person of interest in a police investigation regarding a $3 million bank account.
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith told the T&T Guardian yesterday that it was improper to comment on any matter until the appropriate time.
However, reliable senior police sources, who said the investigation is ongoing via the White Collar Crime Unit, said the probe has now widened based on more information that “has now come to light.” They noted that a very close relative of Padarath––a housewife––was asked by police to be interviewed. But this didn’t succeed.
The T&T Guardian was told several attempts were made to speak with the person but they refused to be questioned.
Police sources said no Government or Opposition official knows what the probe entails. They expressed surprise that efforts were made recently to claim that Government “had knowledge of the situation.”
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Wednesday claimed allegations regarding Padarath’s financial status was “PNM strategy to take him out of the game” because they knew Padarath was close to her.
She added: “They’d embarked on a campaign to tarnish his name. They want to remove Barry as they know he’s close to me and he was close to me and he’s a very important member of our team.”
Padarath is being screened by the UNC via Zoom platform today.
He said he’s working this weekend on finalising preliminary exemption approval which he received from Government and hopes to return perhaps next week or in coming weeks.
Asked if yesterday he’d co-operate with any police request to speak with him, Padarath said: “I haven’t been contacted by any authority regarding any interview with them or on the matter so I have no information on that. But I’ll co-operate with any authority, that is, should the need arise.
“I have nothing to hide and my hands are clean. I have no problems co-operating with any authority.
“But as far as I’m aware, none have tried to make contact with me to arrange for any interview or information into any probe surrounding myself, Barry Padarath.
“But I’m also very mindful this has always been the time when we see a lot of this type of situation happening––around election season.
“It’s always been the PNM’s modus operandi to spread propaganda in this kind of period, so I’m not fazed by this at all.”