The Guyana Police Force seems to have squandered a whopping $19M on a twin engine boat that was supposed to be an integral part of their maritime operations but which is yet to be officially put to work.
The boat, which was purchased last year, has been down for want of engine parts or maybe a new engine ever since it went on is first trial run up the Demerara River.
It is now lying at a wharf at Parika awaiting possibly two new engines.
This newspaper understands that in the first place the boat which ran on gasoline is more of a pleasure craft. The experts say that it is not suited for the operation for which it was bought.
According to a source the first signs that the purchase was bad occurred when the boat was out on trial up the Demerara River.
On its return trip to the maritime base one of the engines developed mechanical problems. The second engine subsequently developed similar problems.
According to a source the vessel was purchased with two Volvo engines and since then the company stopped producing similar engines over a decade ago.
This newspaper understands that the force is now seeking to acquire two other engines which will inflate the total coast of the vessel.
The police had announced the official handing over of the vessel some time last year but had canceled it without explanation following the malfunctioning of the boat.
The vessel was purchased with funds budgeted to the Ministry of Home Affairs but there are conflicting reports about who actually procured it.
Kaieteur News understands that a senior police officer is responsible for the procurement of the vessel, which should have gone a long way in boosting the capacity of the maritime branch of the force, which is desperately in need of upgrading.
When contacted, a senior official of the Ministry of Home Affairs referred this newspaper to the Commissioner of Police but efforts to contact him by telephone for almost a week have been futile.
However, earlier this year at the opening of the Police Officers’ Conference, Police Commissioner Henry Greene, when asked about the delay in putting the vessel into operation, confirmed that the vessel which was reported as brand new had developed engine problems.
He did indicate at the time that the force was trying to secure the requisite spare parts and if that failed, then the purchase of two new engines would be contemplated. This is not the first time that controversy has surrounded the procurement of equipment for the security forces.
A few years ago there was some wrangling over the purchase of helicopters for the Guyana Defence Force, with several experts suggesting that the ones that were eventually acquired are not suitable for use by the army.
Meanwhile, Kaieteur News understands that Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard vessel, MV Essequibo is presently undergoing extensive refurbishing to the tune of more than $200M.
The repairs that were undertaken over six months ago, are being carried out by a team of Brazilian engineers.
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