After maintaining her composure for the last week, Maxine Richards, the daughter of former president George Maxwell Richards broke down in tears yesterday, as the hearse carrying her father’s body...
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Roget: Heads must roll
Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget says heads must roll following the findings of an internal Petrotrin audit which showed operators were being paid for oil they did not produce.
“The OWTU has been consistently raising this issue about lease operators stealing Petrotrin’s oil and billing them (Petrotrin) for oil that they do not produce.
“We always say it is a corrupt arrangement with some top people and it does not do Petrotrin any good,” Roget said in a telephone interview, hours after Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar claimed one operator had been paid US$11.5 million by Petrotrin for oil it had not produced.
Roget wants the Fraud Squad to get involved, saying the internal audit is not good enough “as there would be a cover-up.”
He also wants Petrotrin to properly investigate the audit’s final report.
“Not just audit within the company…an independent auditor ought to audit those claims and to bring to the books all of those who are found to be culpable.
“We suspect because of who is involved in the company that they want to keep it under wraps. We are against that. We are calling for some action on that. Heads must roll. We are going to turn this place upside down because it is really bad.”
Roget estimates that Petrotrin has been losing “billions of barrels of crude oil annually” through the scandal.
Roget said what he also learned was that former Petrotrin chairman Andrew Jupiter “was hounded out of office by the PNM Government,” although he believed Jupiter was the best man for the job due to his wealth of knowledge in the energy sector.
Calls to Jupiter’s phone went straight to voice message yesterday.