The investigation into the falsifying of documents for two students to qualify for a place in the sixth form – and on the Fyzabad Secondary School football team – took a dramatic twist yesterday, as members of the fraud squad have now become involved.
Four officers in an unmarked police vehicle went to the school yesterday morning, as the investigation into the fraudulent registration of the players who did not have the requisite qualifications to qualify to play with the Fyzo Tigers team continues.
Reports indicate that the officers, in a heavily tinted vehicle, drove past the sentry on duty and into the school compound, around mid-morning. The sentry went to the vehicle to enquire about the occupants who identified themselves as officers from the Fraud Squad.
They were led to the office of principal Troy Jebodhsingh with whom they engaged in a two-hour long meeting. Details of what they spoke about remain confidential.
However, sources indicate that the dragnet in the investigation has spread, as information relating to officials at the level of the Ministry of Education involved in the falsifying of documents has surfaced – not only at the school – among other irregularities including financial donations.
Education Minister Anthony Garcia, in a telephone interview, said he was unaware of the involvement of the Fraud Squad in the football matter, but assured if any member of the ministry’s team was engaged in any kind of misdeed, they would be severely dealt with.
“I cannot confirm the Fraud Squad’s involvement. In fact, our School Supervisor III for the St Patrick District, the CEO is in contact with her and she is supposed to give us a report into the investigation. At this point (around 4.45pm yesterday), we don’t have that information because the School Supervisor III herself does not have that information.”
On the other hand, he said, “if there are any misdeeds being conducted by any school official, once those misdeeds are proven, we will take action. I am saying, once it is proven, because you know there are allegations flying left, right, and centre, I draw reference to a letter (in another daily newspaper) that while one boy was being raped, he was crying out in pain. Utter nonsense. People make all kinds of allegations and I don’t want to make a statement on the basis of allegations. If I have to make a statement it must be on the basis of what comes out of those investigations.
“The point I am making, is if on the basis of investigation, it is found anybody in the school system has conducted any falsehood or misdemeanour, then we would take action.” Garcia made it clear that the football league is a principals’ league and principals are the ones who should be in control of the league.
However, he noted that because the duties of a principal are numerous, often times such responsibilities are delegated. Nevertheless, he said, the principals must exercise closer oversight of what happens in football.