Hinds defends his house
Sunday, September 29 2013
OPPOSITION Senator Fitzgerald Hinds said he could justify the acquisition of his house and challenged members of the Government to do the same.
Hinds issued a statement on Friday saying that he has authorised his bank to make records available regarding his mortgage.
The statement comes two days after Ramlogan claimed in the Senate that Hinds lives in a $15 million mansion in Maraval as he responded to Hinds telling Diego Martin schoolchildren not to accept UNC charity.
“I want to ask Senator Hinds, the same children I went to give out schoolbags, hampers and school supplies to...how many has he taken from Laventille to his posh four-storey mansion to let them swim in the pool? ...how many from Laventille did he ever take home and and give them a meal on his marble table and give them a schoolbag and say ‘this is for you,’” Ramlogan said in the Senate.
Ramlogan said the gifts that Hinds had told people to reject had been raised by the hard work of youngsters doing car washes, cake sales and raffles.
In his statement on Friday, Hinds said, “I have authorised my bank, the First Citizens Bank (FCB), Park Street, Port-of-Spain, to make available, to any authorised police officer, from Commissioner to the last-joined recruit; and/or any authorised official from the Integrity Commission, from Chairman to clerk, all my bank details and records regarding the obtaining, payment and balance of my mortgage facility.
He neither confirmed nor denied that photos of a house at Hillsboro, Maraval published in Newsday on September 27, were that of his house. He expressed confidence that his directives to FCB, “will demonstrate a straight and clear path to my family’s ownership and acquisition of our house.”
He said the Eastern Credit Union could also speak to the acquisition of the land in 1998 for his house.
“I bought the land on which my house sits as an Opposition MP. The construction of the building, straddled my time in government and being out of Parliament and politics altogether, between 2004 and 2010. I am still developing my house,” Hinds said.
He called Ramlogan “to set the public record straight and retain the services of a valuator, in order to obtain a real value of my house,” if Ramlogan was “really so interested.” Hinds then challenged Persad-Bissessar,
Ramlogan and other Cabinet ministers to do like himself and “show clear paths to their acquisition and maintenance of the properties they now own, whether acquired before or after assuming ministerial office.” Hinds also said, “I wish to emphasise that there is absolutely no swimming pool at my residence. Mine, like many other ordinary citizens of this country, has been a story of struggle. I was, and continue to be heavily indebted in respect of this house and will continue to work hard and honestly, to meet my obligations in this regard.”
However, even as Hinds responded to Ramlogan, information surfaced yesterday showing that he, Hinds, also owns a large building on Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain which he rents to lawyers, and a Porsche Cayenne vehicle valued at about a $1million.