A 35-year-old man has been remanded into custody after appearing before a Mayaro magistrate charged with several offences, including rape and kidnapping.
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Himself pays himself
Boxu Potts, the special adviser to the T&T Boxing Board of Control (TTBBC), is the co-owner of Unified Promoter’s Boxing Association, a company that has benefited from sponsorship by the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs. In 2010 Potts indicated he was willing to serve on the TTBBC and announced that his son Giovanni was now in control of the company.
However, checks at the Ministry of Legal Affairs, South Quay, Port-of Spain, yesterday showed otherwise. Official documents showed that in 2010 the company merely changed its name from Unified Promoter Boxing Association to Unified Promoter’s Boxing Association. On that same day, November 4, Susan Elizabeth Gooding was listed as a co-owner of the company.
Potts has issued several cheques to himself from the Unified Promoter’s Boxing Association. The T&T Guardian obtained copies of several company cheques issued in June and July 2011. Potts’ phone number is given on the company cheques. On June 16, 2011, Potts paid himself $10,000 from the company’s account. On July 15 he paid himself a further $105,000. A senior official at the Ministry of Sport also received a cheque from Potts.
Potts is not only special adviser to the TTBBC and owner of the Unified Promoter’s Boxing Association but also the owner of Yan’s Sporting Academy in Arima.
The academy was established by Unified Promoter's Boxing Association in 2011 and has been funded by the Sports Ministry. However, a feud is now brewing between Potts and academy staff over the non-payment of salaries for July-December 2012. T&T Guardian investigations found that contracts were drawn up and salaries paid to five people who never worked at the academy.
Meanwhile, the Sports Ministry footed a hefty bill apparently racked up by Potts at Alicia's House Ltd, Coblentz Gardens, St Ann’s. An invoice from the guest house, dated December 15, 2011, showed the sum of $16,125 had been credited to the ministry's bill and there was an outstanding balance of $6,412.84, making a total of $22,537.84.
Covering the period from August 1 to December 15, 2011, the bill was addressed to Potts and said it was “Re: accommodation, meals and beverages for one single room for Mr Boxu Potts.” As special adviser for the TTBBC, Potts receives a monthly retainer of $15,000. In addition, Potts receives a car allowance of $3,500, house allowance of $5,000 and a telephone allowance of $1,500.
Attempts by the T&T Guardian to contact Potts for him to shed some light on the matter yesterday were unsuccessful as he did not respond to telephone calls or e-mails. When a T&T Guardian reporter contacted Sport Minister Anil Roberts for comment, the call dropped and the call ended suddenly.
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