Thu | Jan 23, 2020

Manchester MC Fraud Trial | Expert measured house with gazebos, Jacuzzi as no drawings found

Published:Tuesday | October 1, 2019 | 12:13 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Mandeville, Manchester:

A technical expert from the Integrity Commission who was called to the stand yesterday in the Manchester Municipal Corporation fraud trial said he did not find any architectural drawings of a property to be investigated.

The expert said that prior to the first operation, he went with representatives of the Financial Investigations Division (FID) to the then Manchester Parish Council to find the architectural or engineering drawings for two properties, one of which included a residential home in Daley’s Grove in the parish.

He said none was found.

The witness said he accompanied a team from the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency in 2016 to a residential property in Daley’s Grove, but was not granted access to the property.

Blocked from entering property

He added that he again returned to the property in 2017, this time with representatives from the FID and, again, he was not allowed to enter.

He said that on the third occasion in 2017, he, along with FID representatives who presented a search warrant, was allowed access.

The witness said he was tasked to measure the visible structure in the absence of drawings.

Among the areas he mentioned were two gazebos at the back of the house, one with a Jacuzzi and thatched roof and the other housing a bar, bathroom and two storage spaces. He also spoke of a building that stored the generator, a pump and filtration system house, and an underground water tank.

He added that having measured the external components of the property, he measured the interior, including a music room and a basement.

The witness said he was a assisted by an occupant of the house to open windows in the basement.

When asked how he knew that the person was an occupant, he responded by stating, “They were attired in T-shirt, shorts and slippers – not like the representatives from FID, who were in shirts, jeans and vests.”

The witness, however, could not identify anyone in court as any of the persons present while the operation was being conducted at the property.

He said it would be difficult to do so.

The matter continues tomorrow in the Porus court.