TSTT cuts off Machel as sentencing deadline nears

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Thursday, February 7, 2013 – As Carnival kicks into high gear, multi-award winning soca monarch Machel Montano has been kicked to the curb by the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TSTT) under directive from its board of directors.

“TSTT wishes to advise at this time, that it is suspending all existing arrangements with Machel Montano and the company,” the company said in an emailed statement issued on January 30.

Montano had been endorsing TSTT’s bmobile brand for close to eight years.

TSTT also dropped Montano from the week-long Soca in bSquare concert line-up at Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain.

It is believed that the abrupt end to the lucrative endorsement deal is as a result of Montano’s December 10, 2012, conviction by Magistrate Maureen Babo-olal-Gafoor. Montano was found guilty of five criminal charges of assault and using obscene language during a fracas five years ago, outside the Zen nightclub in Port-of-Spain. He faces jail time but sentencing has been delayed until after Carnival.

Following his conviction, there had been numerous calls by interest groups for TSTT to stop sponsoring Montano with taxpayers’ money because of his conviction.

However, state-owned airline Caribbean Airlines Ltd is so far still standing by Montano. The airline has retained its commercial deal with the high profile entertainer and remains a sponsor of his February 13 “Machel Monday” concert.

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