Weeks after hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of items were stolen from the University of T&T (UTT) Corinth Campus in San Fernando, the university has launched an independent investigation to determine how the theft occurred under the watch of security guards.
Confirmation of the robbery came from UTT’s chairman Prof Clement Imbert during a telephone interview with Guardian Media yesterday.
Last November, Imbert announced the closure of UTT’s Corinth, Chaguanas, Arima and Valsayn campuses in a bid to cut cost, as the beleaguered university had been faced with a $57 million cash deficit.
However, days after staff at the southern campus had been relocated and its doors closed, thieves put down a daring robbery.
“Yes, it was a whole heap of things. Yes, things definitely went missing,” Imbert admitted in a telephone interview.
Among the items stolen, Imbert said were a huge electric generator, air condition units and water tanks.
“The generator I believe is somewhere in the order of half a million dollars. As soon as the things were reported stolen we (UTT) reported it to the police.”
Imbert could not put a value on the pilfered items.
However, Guardian Media was reliably informed that ten 2,000 gallon water tanks, 27 large air condition units, eight microwaves, office and classroom furniture and 15 filing cabinets had been carted away under the cover of darkness.
The items were loaded on several trucks while security guards were on active duty.
Asked if the robbery was an inside job, Imbert opted not to say.
“I can’t give you much information because the police are investigating. Of course, there are suspicions and there are people who they have to question because they were in charge.”
Imbert said UTT would never leave any of its campuses unguarded to be vandalised or broken into.
“We have not left any campus that we have vacated unguarded until somebody occupies it.”
He said robberies at businesses and organisations take place all the time.
“Is either the security guards are part of it.”
Questioned if the robbery was an inside job, Imbert said he could not say, stating that the Ste Madeleine Police are currently investigating while UTT has launched an independent probe into the disturbing incident.
“Both (investigations) are taking place. You know these things take time. As far as I know, I am not privy to the details of the investigation that is going on because I am waiting to see what will come out of it.”
Imbert said he believed arrests were made but could not say if charge/s had been laid.
Pressed how he felt about the theft, Imbert replied, “like, I feel about all wrongdoing that takes place…especially under my watch. That is why I told them that I am not going to interfere with any one of the things.”
Imbert said he will let the chips fall where they may.
“Nobody is going to call me and ask me to ease up nobody or this or that because I mean that is not acceptable at all.”