What type of “in-depth investigation”? | Letters to the Editor

The headline of this week’s Sunday Express boldly pronounced “Top cop clears Faris in sale of Porsche”.

The story is that “A letter from Acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob to (Faris) Al-Rawi (former Attorney General) dated June 15, 2022, said the investigation into Al-Rawi’s failure to transfer the motor vehicle registration PCY 84 to (Roger) Kawalsingh (former member of the Police Services Board) and failure to notify the Transport Commissioner of the change in ownership had been closed for insufficient evidence.

Jacob is quoted as saying: “I refer to a letter dated October 1, 2021 from the Leader of the Opposition, Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar on the subject (vehicle transfer) and informs that a thorough investigation has been carried out into the allegations which are made there”.

What type of “thorough investigation” is Jacob referring to exactly?

The investigation should not have focused on who said what, but rather on the documents and paper trails that were submitted to the licensing authority.

Transportation Commissioner Clive Clarke, in a letter to Al-Rawi dated October 12, 2021, informed him that “extensive checks were carried out at the San Fernando licensing office, during which transactions related to vehicle transfers were reviewed for the period from January 15, 2016 to February 29, 2016.”

The Transport Commissioner has confirmed that the following checks have been carried out to verify and validate the following:

• Inspection bay transfer logs

• Transfer meter logbook

• Cash Book

• Vehicle register

According to the Transport Commissioner, the areas that were searched were:

• “Inspection Bay Transfer Logs – Jan 15, 2016 – Feb 29, 2016 – CANNOT BE LOCATED

• “Transfer Meter Logbook – Jan 15, 2016 to Feb 29, 2016 – LOCALIZED LOGBOOK – NO ENTRY EXISTS FOR VEHICLE PCY 84.

Al-Rawi was further informed that his “correspondence dated September 28, 2021 and October 20, 2020 indicates a signed transfer form dated February 1, 2016 and a sales receipt dated January 15, 2016 along with a copy of a check paid to the vendor. Considering that there were a series of manual processes that could lead to missed entries and delays in updating records during the above-mentioned period, the licensing authority cannot deny or confirm that attempts were made to complete a PCY 84 vehicle transfer on or about the week of February 15, 2016”.

The Transport Commission then advised Al-Rawi (October 12, 2021) “to go to the Licensing Office with the buyer Mr. Kawalsingh and the vehicle PCY 84 in order to carry out the transfer in accordance with the operating procedure Division Standard”.

It was after Al-Rawi’s visit to the licensing office on October 20, 2021, that a “certified copy of the ownership of PCY 84 number 855717” was issued.

The Acting Commissioner of Police must tell the country what investigation the TTPS conducted to conclude that it has decided to close the investigation “for insufficient evidence”.

Did Acting Police Commissioner Jacob have knowledge of the Transportation Commissioner’s documentation and records?

If he did, does he question the integrity and accuracy of the Transportation Commissioner’s documentation?

Capil Bisson