Former Urban Development Corporation of T&T (Udecott) executive chairman, Calder Hart, peeped out at members of the media through the sliding glass doors of his front porch at his Cascade home around 1 pm yesterday. Hart remained indoors after returning to Trinidad from Florida over the weekend. He came back to his No 6 de Lima Road mansion on Second Avenue on Saturday night, after leaving more than a month ago, on March 6. Around 1 pm yesterday, Hart was spotted wearing a blue robe, walking inside of his home. Minutes later, he peeped out from the corner of the right side of the sliding glass doors in his front porch, and looked out at members of the media gathered outside the front entrance.
There were more activities than normal occurring at Hart's residence since he, his wife Sherrine and their daughter Jean left the country about 35 days ago. The water pump kept going on and off, and one of the air condition units made loud noises, giving the impression that both appliances were in use. Hart's Five-Series BMW was parked in the garage, but his other BMW car was not on the compound. No one answered either the doorbell or the intercom that was outside the residence. Earlier in the day, around 10.45 am yesterday, one of Hart's sons, Ross, emerged from the house and jumped into his grey Toyota Corolla and drove away.
He declined to speak with members of the media. One of Hart's neighbours said he was unaware that Hart had returned to Trinidad, until he read about it in the Sunday Guardian. He added that there was no indication that Sherrine and Jean had returned. Several of Hart's neighbours declined comment about his return. Hart has been embroiled in allegations under his tenure as executive Udecott chairman. It is being alleged that the Canadian-born Hart funnelled hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of relatives of his wife's Malaysian family, through the award of Udecott contracts, among other things.
Congress of the People obtained documents from the Malaysian Registry that showed Hart's wife, whose birth name was Lee Soh Wah, was the sister-in-law of Ng Chin Poh, one of the directors of CH Development and Construction Ltd.
The company was awarded about $1 billion in Udecott contracts to construct the Ministry of Legal Affairs Tower in Port-of-Spain. Hart's departure from Trinidad came less than 24 hours after High Court Justice Mira Dean-Armorer rejected requests from his lawyers to stop submission of the report of the Commission of Enquiry into Udecott and the Local Construction Sector. Hart decided, subsequently, to resign from Udecott and four other state boards: the National Insurance Board, T&T Mortgage Finance Company, The National Insurance Property Development, Ltd and Home Mortgage Bank. His sudden resignation followed a conversation with Prime Minister Patrick Manning.