Fraud Squad detectives have reopened their investigation into allegations that People’s National Movement (PNM) candidate for Toco/Sangre Grande Roger Monroe allegedly used an expired power of attorney to withdraw money from his grandfather Percy Thomas’ account two days after he (Thomas) died on February 7, 2015.
Monroe was asked by Guardian Media about he allegation during a walkabout in Valencia on July 15. He said his hand were clean and noted that his lawyers were handling the matter and could not say any more on the subject at that time. In a subsequent interview on July 20, however, Monroe told Guardian Media he may have made a mistake in the matter.
“We had a meeting with my attorney, which was my grandfather’s attorney as well and during that discussion, my attorney informed me a mistake was made. I accepted the fact the mistake was made and they accepted the fact it was a mistake. They (relatives) themselves did not even know that the power of attorney dies when somebody dies. They settled that issue when I repaid the money,” Monroe said then.
But one of Thomas’ sons, Dexter Thomas, who was the primary holder of the Royal Bank account and his father— the secondary holder, said in an interview last week the issue was bigger than this.
“It’s not the putting back of the money that is troubling here, it’s the fact that he allegedly used an expired document to withdraw the money and that’s where the problem lies,” Dexter Thomas had said.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, when questioned about the matter last week by Guardian Media on nomination day in Point Cumana, defended Monroe, saying it was a family matter.
However, Darren Thomas, another son of Percy Thomas, confirmed to Guardian Media yesterday that police had taken a renewed interest in the case.
“I went to visit them (Fraud Squad) on Wednesday to do a follow-up personally and see what they say. Mr. Groomes gave the assurance they are working on it and the issue was never closed it’s just they had an audit and files were moved around and when he read the story in the Guardian he decided to ask for the files and sent for it and received it and assigned new team officers to investigate the situation and they came yesterday (Thursday)and took statements,” Thomas said.
Thomas said a statement was taken from him as well as the caretaker Lynette Paul his father’s cousin, who took care of him until his death.
“The statements they took were in relation to the expired power of attorney as well as the deeds pertaining to what Roger showed on news last week,” Thomas said.
Guardian Media reached out yesterday to head of the Fraud Squad, Senior Supt Groomes, who said, “I have spoken to Mr Thomas.”
Other senior police sources confirmed the matter is being probed.
Thomas said his family was relieved that the police finally has taken a renewed interest in the matter and contended that they had been trying for years to get this matter properly addressed.