Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion Min­is­ter Mar­lene Mc­Don­ald will face as many as sev­en crim­i­nal charges, in­clud­ing mis­be­hav­iour in pub­lic of­fice, con­spir­a­cy to de­fraud and mon­ey laun­der­ing.

Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions Roger Gas­pard gave the po­lice ad­vice short­ly be­fore 11 pm to charge Mc­Don­ald, her com­pan­ion, Michael Carew, the for­mer chair­man of the Na­tion­al Self-Help Com­mis­sion Edgar Zephyrine and two con­trac­tors – Wayne An­tho­ny and Vic­tor McEachrane- with sev­er­al charges aris­ing out the dis­burse­ment of state funds from the Min­istry of Com­mu­ni­ty De­vel­op­ment and Cul­ture to help at risk youth.

Over a $1 M was dis­bursed to the Cal­abar Foun­da­tion, a non-prof­it or­gan­i­sa­tion in which Mc­Don­ald’s hus­band is a di­rec­tor, and two oth­er en­ti­ties. McEachrane is al­so a di­rec­tor of the Cal­abar Foun­da­tion.

Mc­Don­ald is the on­ly one who will be charged with mis­be­hav­iour in pub­lic of­fice.

The charges came af­ter a six-year-long in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the po­lice. Snr Supt To­taram Dookhie, of the Pro­fes­sion­al Stan­dards Bu­reau (PSB), who lead the probe. The In­tegri­ty Com­mis­sion had dis­missed the com­plaints pre­vi­ous­ly.

Sources said po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors were able to fol­low the mon­ey which end­ed up in pri­vate bank ac­counts of in­di­vid­u­als.

Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley who had been wait­ing on the de­ci­sion of the po­lice will like­ly re­voke Mc­Don­ald’s ap­point­ment on Mon­day and re­place her with an­oth­er min­is­ter.

Mc­Don­ald, a pow­er­house on the PNM plat­form and in Par­lia­ment, has served as the Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for the con­stituen­cy of Port-of-Spain South for 12 years. She is al­so a deputy po­lit­i­cal leader of the rul­ing PNM.

Her af­fil­i­a­tion with re­put­ed Sea Lots gang leader caused her to be fired by Row­ley in 2017 and she had been fired once be­fore for giv­ing Carew a house while she served as Hous­ing Min­is­ter in 2016.

Se­nior po­lice sources told Guardian Me­dia it may take sev­er­al hours to write the charges, and, there­fore, the ac­cused may not be charged un­til ear­ly Mon­day morn­ing. They al­so said there will be a sep­a­rate charge for every with­draw­al of ill-got­ten gains.

Of­fi­cers of the PSB swooped down on Mc­Don­ald’s home at Val­ley View, Mara­cas, St Joseph on Thurs­day morn­ing, where they ex­e­cut­ed a search war­rant and took away sev­er­al items.

Mc­Don­ald and her hus­band have been in cus­tody since then. Zephyrine was ar­rest­ed in To­ba­go on Fri­day and the two oth­er men were held that same day. Both Mc­Don­ald and Carew co-op­er­at­ed with po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors dur­ing their in­ter­views.