Ish Dies after Battle with Cancer

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By Prior Beharry

BUSINESSMAN Ishwar Galbaransingh, widely known as Ish, dies after a four-year long struggle with cancer.

The news was shared by his wife Cheryl Galbaransingh through a WhatsApp message spread across social media platforms on Monday.

Cheryl said: “I am deeply saddened to announce the passing of my beloved husband Ish Galbaransingh, who passed away peacefully today after a valiant four-year fight with cancer. You all know him as a fighter but the battle ended today.”

Galbaransingh, a well-known figure in the business sector, had faced legal challenges. He was notably entangled in high-profile litigation with business associate Steve Ferguson and several other businessmen, alongside former government ministers. The charges related to the construction of the new terminal at Piarco International Airport during the tenure of the United National Congress (UNC) government, then led by the late Basdeo Panday in the early 2000s. Basdeo Panday, the fifth prime minister of T&T, passed away earlier this year on January 1.

The allegations against Galbaransingh and his co-accused, including Northern Construction Ltd (NCL) financial director Amrith Maharaj, former government minister Brian Kuei Tung along with his then-companion Renee Pierre, and former Airports Authority chairmen Tyrone Gopee and Ameer Edoo, involved fraudulent activities in the construction of the $1.6 billion airport terminal.

Last year, Galbaransingh publicly stated that the ongoing corruption cases had inflicted substantial harm on his family life and personal well-being.

He persistently claimed that the case against him was driven by political motives rather than factual evidence. Despite these controversies, Galbaransingh remained a prominent figure and his passing signals the end of a significant chapter within Trinidad and Tobago’s business and political narrative.

The funeral arrangements and memorial services are expected to be announced in the coming days.

In offering condolences former transport minister Devant Maharaj said, “While fraught with legal troubles for the Piarco Airport, it remains one of the best airports in the Caribbean.

“Ish developed Royal Castle as one of the only local quick service restaurant chain to compete with multinational competitors in Trinidad and Tobago.

“Ish’s Grafton Beach Hotel in Tobago is a mainstay in the tourism industry. His other business ventures were equally successful.

“I recall it was Ish who came to me as Minister of Transport lobbying for a later flight from Trinidad to Tobago from 9pm. I agreed with Ish’s proposal and pushed Caribbean Airlines to have its last flight after midnight. That singular move no doubt had a significant impact on the economic and cultural life of Tobago.

“While for the last year’s were marred by his court matter his life was not defined by it.

“RIP Ish.”

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