|UK owner wants back Range Rover |
By NEWSDAY STAFF Friday, October 18 2013
THE UNITED Kingdom (UK) owner of a stolen Range Rover luxury SUV seized from Independent Liberal Party (ILP) deputy political leader Anna Deonarine-Rampersad is demanding the vehicle be returned to them.
The owner of the black luxury SUV – Lombard Vehicle Management of 7 Brindley Place, Birmingham, United Kingdom – has retained Karl Hudson Phillips QC, to seek their interests.
In a letter addressed to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan yesterday, attorney Jessica Maicoo, who is in Chambers with Hudson-Phillips, indicated they have been retained by Barry Hancock of BR International on behalf of Lombard Vehicle Management.
Maicoo called on the State to, “hand over the vehicle”, to them on behalf of Hancock. “From a perusal of the relevant documents in the matter, it is confirmed that the vehicle is in the possession of the State.
“In the circumstances this is to call upon the relevant government department through the Office of the Honourable Attorney General to hand over the vehicle to us on behalf of Mr Hancock whom we represent so that the same may be disposed of according to the direction of the owner,” Maicoo wrote.
The letter sent to the AG was also copied to Deonarine-Rampersad to advise her of the UK owner’s demand and afford her an opportunity to challenge Lombard Vehicle Management’s right to possession of the vehicle.
The letter also indicated that Hancock possessed a duly notarized Power of Attorney, dated November 17, 2011, from Lombard Vehicle Management, owner of the Range Rover which was reported stolen in the United Kingdom between May 2008 and December 2008.
Maicoo also noted that the exact circumstance in which the vehicle was stolen and shipped to Trinidad was unknown.
“However, I am instructed that the vehicle which was the subject of a contract hire purchase between Lombard Vehicle Management and one Nabeel Shah was shipped to Trinidad in December 2008 without Lombard Vehicle Management’s knowledge or consent,” Maicoo said.
According to a Sunday Newsday report, the UK Metropolitan Police confirmed that Deonarine-Rampersad’s Range Rover was stolen from Lombard Vehicle Management where the vehicle was on contract hire on May 15, 2008 by a person who had stopped paying for it and who it was eventually determined, had used false details to hire the vehicle.
In a letter dated September 6, 2011, the London-based Metropolitan Police service wrote to Hancock (the real owner’s representative), to inform him of a trans-Atlantic criminal conspiracy whereby high-end luxury vehicles were being stolen from the UK and shipped to Trinidad for resale and that the Range Rover was one of those vehicles.
On Sunday last, as reported in Sunday Newsday, Deonarine-Rampersad admitted purchasing the vehicle, valued at about $500,000, from an agent by the name of Nadeem Baksh. She also confirmed that local police had seized the luxury Ranger Rover on November 7, 2011. Deonarine-Rampersad has asked that the Range Rover be returned to her, however this appears unlikely as the real owner moves to recover the vehicle. Ministry of Trade and Industry and Customs and Excise Division records show the vehicle was imported by D&I Management Services Ltd, of 91 Bejucal Road, Cunupia from Nadeem Baksh, of 35 Fenner Square, Winstanley Estate Battersea, London.
Deonarine-Rampersad is reported to be the corporate secretary of D&I Managementt. In some media reports, she is said to have indicated the vehicle was already in Trinidad when it was purchased. Last night, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, at a People’s Partnership meeting in Gasparillo, challenged the accounts of how Deonarine-Rampersad acquired the SUV. He claimed Deonarine-Rampersad had said she did not import the vehicle and “sought to give the impression that this stolen vehicle was imported by somebody else and she buy it from them”. Ramlogan said documents at the Ministry of Trade that are relevant to this transaction revealed that on January 26, 2009, Deonarine-Rampersad’s company was going to import a Range Rover for $160,000.
He reported they got an import licence to import the Range Rover, “then suddenly” on March 26, there was on file a handwritten letter asking the ministry to change the year of manufacture from 2006 to 2008, to change the cost from $160,000 to $202,400, and to change the name of the shipper to Nadeem Baksh.
Ramlogan noted it was “very strange” that the same day she put a handwritten note on the changes, “that very same day she get a new import licence”. He said with the new import licence, issued in the name of Deonarine-Rampersad’s company, the stolen Range Rover was imported from Baksh.
He also commented on a newspaper article yesterday (not Newsday) which stated the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had cleared Deonarine-Rampersad in the matter.
“Notice nowhere in the article is the DPP quoted,” he pointed out. Ramlogan said the police file has no statement from Deonarine-Rampersad, nor Baksh, who they cannot find, nor the Licencing office or the Customs department. He said both in Licencing and Customs there were “false documents” relating to the transaction. He noted in the police file, lead investigator Corporal Joseph had stated he had been repeatedly trying for two years to get Deonarine-Rampersad to give a statement but she has claimed she did not know she had to give one and no one asked her to make one.
“If somebody come and take my car and tell me is a thief (sic) car, even if they didn’t ask me for a statement, I would be hounding them down to give them one if I am innocent,” Ramlogan said.
However, Deonarine-Rampersad at an ILP political meeting in Penal last night, said members of Government saw politics as big business and not about serving the people. “It never was,” she said, “but my lawyers are dealing with these people and tomorrow (today) morning they will be sending the first pre-action protocol letter which goes to the Guardian.”
The pre action protocol is in relation to a report alleging that Deonarine was involved in an international car racket. Her lawyers, she said, are preparing letters in relation to other “false and malicious statements made.”
“They have advised me to let justice take its course and I in turn have told them,” she said, “that I am prepared to go all the way to the Privy Council to defend my good name and reputation.”