Security tightened at CTL

Published: Sunday | September 2, 2012 Comments 0

Ainsley Walters, Gleaner Writer

SECURITY has been nearly doubled at Caymanas Park since the nightmarish weekend of August 24-25 when trainer Tony Kirlew was killed in the stable area and robbers hit the racetrack making off with approximately $7 million in cash and cheques.

Under the new arrangement vehicles entering the compound are being searched by security personnel.

The absence of identification cards, regardless of status, professional or otherwise, has resulted in personnel being denied entry to some areas.

The stable area, which was stripped of its security detail due to financial constraints earlier this year, has seen a return of a fully staffed armoured car patrolling its environs 24 hours per day.

During racing on Wednesday, police personnel, as well as heavily armed security staffers, were observed escorting cash from various points throughout the raceday.

A groom, commenting on the beefed-up security presence, told The Sunday Gleaner, "the place a run like Up Park Camp since the murder an robbery, an a long time wi did a warn dem, but dem neva hear".

On August 24, the racetrack was operating on a skeleton security detail with no patrols in the stable area where Kirlew was shot twice, in the head and mouth.

At the time of Kirlew's death, the nine-man security detail, two supervisors included, was busy manning gates and other posts mainly in the vicinity of the main buildings.

The following day, two men reportedly held up two Caymanas Track Limited employees at knife and gunpoint in the cash-processing room.

  • Racing into bankruptcy - Audit finds serious mismanagement of money at Caymanas Track Limited

Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

Dismal fiscal management of the operations of Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) between 2008 and 2011 is being blamed for the abysmal financial condition in which the entity now finds itself.

A forensic audit on the operations of CTL has found that approximately $259 million held in short-term deposits was completely wiped out from 2008 to 2011, catapulting the company into a perilous financial bind.

This is among a slew of findings unearthed by Public Accountability Inspectorate (PAI) Division of the Ministry of Finance and Planning which probed CTL's operations.

The Sunday Gleaner obtained a copy of the report that highlighted concerns with "poor management" of the funds under the previous regime.

"There is cause for concern in regards to the utilisation of the funds on Short Term Deposit and the rapid decrease of the funds in the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 financial years," the report stated.

The audit found that short-term deposits dwindled from $258.9 million in 2008 to zero in December 2011.

"A 101 per cent increase in the entity's losses in the 2010/2011 financial year over the previous period signified that severe mismanagement of the entity's resources has been undertaken as well as a serious over-budgeting of revenue and or under-budgeting of expenses," the report asserted.

Horace Dalley, the minister with responsibility for CTL declined to make a definitive statement on that matter.

"We at the Ministry of Finance and Planning commissioned a forensic audit of CTL and the Customs Department in January 2011," he said.

"I am aware that the CTL audit is completed but I have not yet seen the findings."

Dalley said it would take him a few days to review the report after which he would brief Cabinet, before making a statement on the findings to Parliament.

Loss of funds

The audit found that there was a loss of funds between 2008 and 2011 suggesting that this affected the income earnings projected in CTL's short-term deposit.

It further notes that investment income also decreased and CTL's liquidity was impaired while deficit deepened.

"The PAI found no evidence that a reserve was operated by CTL," the report stated.

The PAI stated that a notion of a cash reserve may have emerged when a former officer of CTL told a Board meeting on April 17, 2009 that $25 million was taken out of the "cash reserve" to make retroactive payments to staff.

The PAI highlighted the possibility that the notion of a reserve fund being held by CTL may have been due to misinformation presented to members of staff prior to a strike about the existence of the now depleted short-term deposits.

The probe found that CTL failed to adequately manage its receivables from trade in the 2010/2011 financial year as approximately 68 per cent of the increase in receivables in 2011/2011 over the 2009/2010 financial year resulted from trade receivable.

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