Juhel Browne Jbrowne@trinidadexpress.com
Monday, February 11th 2008
Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday is calling for a public enquiry into Government's acquisition of its first national security blimp, which cost $12.6 million but was not suitable for the country's weather conditions.
"Who recommended it? You can't come now and tell us the atmosphere was bad. What happen? Somebody change the wind?" Panday said yesterday
He said there should be a public enquiry to investigate the Government's acquisition of the other blimp ,which along with the first have cost the State $67.1 million over the past three years.
"There was a massive corruption and bribery in the purchase of those blimps and we must demand a public enquiry," Panday said. at the UNC-A national congress meeting at the party's Rienzi Complex headquarters in Couva.
Panday said that the acquisition of the blimps must be examined in the same way that the Piarco International Airport terminal building project had been.
The Commission of Enquiry into that project led to charges being laid against former national security minister Russell Huggins and former finance minister Brian Kuei Tung along with several other people.
Their cases are still pending.
His comments came three days after National Security Minister Martin Joseph, disclosed in the Parliament exactly how much money the Government spent on the blimps.
Joseph defended the acquisition saying that they were part of an overall law enforcement strategy and provided vital intelligence for crime fighting.
Joseph said the Government sold the first blimp, the Aeros 40B SkyDragon, for its original $15.75 million price tag and after spending an additional $7.2 million to repair it.
So the real fockin price of this piece of shit is really almost 23 million. Will any fockin body in dey right mind buy something and spend half of the cost to repair it. Doesnt make fockin sense to me. To PNMites maybe!
The Government then leased the Skyship 600 at a cost of $4,785,590 for the period November 24, 2005, to mid-May 2006 and then purchased it at a price of $15,750,000, in June 2006.
The Skyship 600 is the only airship currently in operation and costs an average of $1.417 million a month or $17.01 million annually while an additional $26.9 million has been spent to repair and maintain it.
How in the mudder cont world you will buy ah fockin car and spend almost twice the amount to repair. Does that make sense ?
We were building the airport and the PNM accused the UNC of corruption in the airport building. We held an enquiry," Panday said.
He then added: "We ask them to reciprocate. When they called for an enquiry into the airport, we did it. We are calling for an enquiry into the purchase of the blimps."
Oh fock the PNM real take the cake yes.
Some party hack make some good donsai on this fockin deal.
Leh we find out who bought it on behalf of the PNM.