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LIFE SPORT OFFICIAL SHOT DEAD

By Newsday Staff Friday, June 27 2014

click on pic to zoom in

A MAN identified as being among four people targeted in a plot to be killed because of their involvement in the Ministry of Sports Life Sport Programme, was yesterday gunned down at his Pomegranate Avenue, Malabar home.

Police reported that Curtis Gibson, who in a previous Newsday report was named only as ‘Tall Man’, was asleep with his common-law-wife at about 1 pm when gunmen kicked in his door and fired relentlessly at him, hitting him about the body. His wife escaped unharmed.

Gibson, 42, had been a marked man for the role he played in the Life Sport Programme as a representative for a Muslim imam in Arima.

His name was on a list along with the ministry’s Deputy Director of Physical Education and Sport Ruth Marchan, Director of the Life Sport Programme Cornelius Pryce and Permanent Secretary Ashwin Creed.

The threat it is understood came from within the walls of the Ministry of Sport because key members in the programme did not condone corrupt practices with respect to the distribution of monies to Life Sport members, and because top officials in the ministry wanted to use the programme for their personal financial gain, Marchan had told Newsday.

A source close to Newsday stated Gibson was the man who would go to various communities to get young potential candidates for the Life Sport Programme.

According to the source, “He was the main man in the programme.

He was the man on the ground. He would work for the imam by going out and convincing youngsters between the age of 16 to 25 years who were eyeing a life of crime, to join the Life Sport Programme as it led them towards a positive life.”

Gibson was also the personal bodyguard of Marchan who had also been employed at the Public Transport Service Corporation.

Yesterday Marchan, Creed and Pryce could not be reached and Malabar residents were also reluctant to comment on Gibson’s murder. Following allegations of financial impropriety, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar transferred the Life Sport Programme to the Ministry of National Security. An audit of Life Sport is also ongoing.

Calls to National Security Minister Gary Griffith went unanswered last evening.

Opposition MP Colm Imbert will today raise a motion on the Life Sport Programme in the House of Representatives.

(See page 14A)





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