The former Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, Anand Ramlogan, was arrested Wednesday morning at the Piarco Airport over his alleged involvement in kickbacks and money laundering during his tenure.
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Ramlogan was scheduled to fly to the British Virgin Islands to appear in court over a judicial review matter. Ramlogan's United National Congress (UNC) party associate and former senator, Gerald Ramdeen, was also taken into custody after turning himself over to the Anti-Corruption Investigation Bureau (ACID) in Port of Spain.
Ramlogan served as Attorney General from 2010 to 2015. Seven active investigations have been reviewing large payments made by the Attorney General's office to a "favored few," totaling over TT$1 billion. Ramdeen was reportedly a major recipient of legal fees approved by Ramlogan.
Both men have denied any foul play.
Ramlogan is being charged with "misbehavior in public office" and attempting to get "David West, the Director of the Police Complaints Authority to withdraw a statement in a defamation lawsuit filed by Prime Minister (PM) Dr. Keith Rowley" against him.
In 2012, opposition leader and current PM Rowley disputed the attorney general's office over the transactions. Subsequently, Ramlogan sued Rowley for defamation, but the charges were later dropped.
Senior officials believe the arrests will result in "shockwaves... through the legal fraternity." During his arrest at the airport, police also searched Ramlogan's Palmiste mansion.
The UNC has dismissed the allegations, claiming it to be an attempt by the "desperate and failing Rowley administration [to search] for a way to distract the public's attention away from their record of failure over the ñast four years."
They list these failures as "incompetence, corruption, massive unemployment, and runaway crime."