PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Friday May 24, 2019 – An opposition United National Congress (UNC) councillor has been charged with corruption, three weeks after two senior members of the party faced the court on similar charges.
Chairman of the UNC-control Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation, Glen Ram was granted TT$100,000 (US$14,760) bail when he appeared in court yesterday on charges of accepting a bribe and corruptly soliciting a TT$1,500 (US$221) bribe in June last year.
He returns to court on June 18.
Ram, the local government councillor for Biche/Charuma, was arrested on Wednesday morning at the corporation in Rio Claro by officers of the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau.
While the UNC said in a statement following the arrest that it “does not stand for any wrongdoing”, it contended that the move was a distraction by the ruling Peoples National Movement (PNM) to “deflect attention from their incompetence”.
“It cannot be denied that this has been an ongoing narrative by the PNM – that they were going to ‘lock somebody up’. This has been their consistent talking point in and out of Parliament. It would also be the height of naivety to ignore the fact that this is an election year.
“In recent months, the [Dr Keith] Rowley-led PNM has attempted distraction after distraction to deflect attention from their incompetence, and we would not be surprised if they use every tool at their disposal to continue these attempts,” it said, recalling that before the 2002 elections seven UNC members were charged.
Earlier this month, former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and former Senator Gerald Ramdeen, were granted bail on corruption-related offences stemming from an alleged conspiracy to financially reward themselves with fees from legal briefs from the State.