3 Mar 2008

Did Jonah swallow the whale?

I have just been reading an article in the Newsday. Now, ordinarily this would be another 'bandit attack' story, and I would commiserate with the would-be victims; maybe even celebrate that they escaped further harm and distress.

But the last paragraph stood out for me.
The bandits already had most of Maharaj's possession which included a laptop computer, his brief case with his passport, driver's permit and ID card, and several tax files from work and about $25,000 in cash which represented his salary and backpay.
The Maharaj is Swaran Siegoolam Maharaj, 52, a tax officer with the Board of Inland Revenue.

Now, the part that got my attention is $25,000 in cash which represented his salary and backpay.

Having been a public servant myself, I know public servants salaries are paid directly into bank accounts, and indeed, on rare occasions when not; they receive money via cheques. So $25,000 in cash? I haven't heard of tax officers getting back pay either (they would receive same - considered emoluments, after salary negotiations and would also be directed to their bank accounts).

What the hell is he doing with tax returns in his house? Is he a field officer? If he is, then I am sure that money is not backpay - I just spoke to a tax officer friend in Trinidad who says no backpay given out for months and months. In fact, my friend is quite dubious of the claims made.

So this leads me to ask, 'just where did this money come from?' I am not saying the man is corrupt, but my readers know that when I smell smoke...

If you believe that this is salary and backpay, then you should believe Jonah swallowed the whale.