Cops arrest Catron over nation building grant

| 12/12/2013

(CNS): Local activist Sandra Catron has been arrested again, this time in connection with allegations of fraud in relation to grants she received for students from the controversial Nation Building Fund. While the police refused to comment on the arrest, which took place at Catron’s home in Newlands this morning (Thursday 12 December) at 7:10am as it is part of an on-going investigation Catron confirmed the arrest. After being released on bail she said it was in connection with an ongoing contractual payment dispute, in which she alleges that the government has not fulfilled its financial obligations to her and still owes her money.

Catron said she had filed a civil suit in relation to the issue, which government has not defended and in which she is now entitled to damages.

“These accusations, they have no merit and I intend to fully defend myself to the fullest extentand there’s no doubt I will be successful,” she said. Given Catron’s track record so far, she has reason to be confident as she has already won three courtroom cases against government defending herself, despite not being a qualified lawyer.

The arrest, Catron believes, is part of what now constitutes harassment against her, given the history between her and the RCIPS, especially following her courtroom victory over an unlawful warrant earlier this year in which there were shocking revelations about how the RCIPS officers were getting warrants.

“I continue to remain disappointed that the RCIPS and the DPP (director of public prosecutions) is being used by certain persons with a political or personal agenda to pursue such frivolous cases. Any objective person will realize these actions collectively amount to institutional harassment,” she told CNS. “The authorities could better spend their time and resources pursuing some unsolved murder cases. The system is clearly broken.”

Catron said the police ironically arrived at her home this morning without a warrant to arrest her for suspicionof uttering a false document and obtaining property by deception.

“They are attempting to make a case where there is none. They simply do not even understand what the training is that was offered,” Catron stated about the money she had received for students attending her training company, Micro Matrix, from the controversial Nation Building Fund established by the former premier, McKeeva Bush.

Catron said she felt it was no coincidence that she was arrested today after she had called into the breakfast radio show, Crosstalk, on Rooster yesterday morning and mentioned the lawsuit and government’s failure to respond. She said she had also questioned what had happened to the investigation the she had heard was going on against her regarding the fund.

“I am not in a position to defend anyone else who received funding under the Nation Building Fund but my experience has been that the process was vigorous and transparent,” Catron stated.

However, there have been wide concerns that this was not the case. A recent statement by Premier Alden McLaughlin raised considerable questions about the scholarships given out under the fund. Allegations have also been made that the cash in the fund was allocated at the discretion of the former premier alone and considered something of a political slush fund. It is understood that other investigations are ongoing and that the auditor general will be taking a closer look at the entire fund and how it was managed.

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