Monday 19 November, 2018

Imbert denies involvement in police search for son's phone

Finance Minister Colm Imbert has denied using his influence as a Minister to direct the police service's search for his son's stolen cellphone.

In a WhatsApp conversation with political commentator and radio host Rhoda Bharath which has been posted to Facebook, Imbert said he had no involvement. 

"Absolutely not," he said in response to Bharath's question about his involvement in the police investigation.

"He called 999 and the police subsequently called me to get the location of the truck. We had no contact with the police since that Friday afternoon. I learnt yesterday that the police were fortunate to get CCTV footage from the location which they were able to use to identify the getaway car and the identity of the bandits, who I am told, was known to the police," he said. 

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Imbert's son, Adrian, was robbed on Friday afternoon when his truck shut down on the Eastern Main Road in Laventille while he was transporting water to the East. 

Newspaper reports said elite police units were deployed to search for his phone which was recovered on Tuesday.

Imbert said to his knowledge there is no elite police unit and there was no manhunt, lockdown or any special attention.

"My understanding is that standard procedures were used. Nothing exceptional," he told Bharath. 

Slamming media reports on the incident, Imbert said the bandits did not take his son's wallet with his ID and Driver's Permit so his identity was unknown until his face and name were plastered in the Newsday.

Asked if his son feels targeted, Imbert said he is sure he does.

"His name and photograph have been splashed all over the media and he has been falsely accused of using his position to get preferential treatment when nothing could be further from the truth. I have heard that the fake news stories escalated to the point where some callers actually said he should be shot. It's disgraceful," he said. 

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He also debunked rumours that a bmobile outage on Tuesday was linked to the police's search for his son's phone. 

"I am flabbergasted at the ease at which the multiple fake stories about this matter are being promoted and escalated and are morphing into madness," he said. 

He said his son had his phone for seven years and it contained sensitive information pertinent to both of them.

Loop reached out to Imbert via Whatsapp on Tuesday but got no response.