…bauxite ship to leave empty, logs stranded in Kwakwani
A Mahdia businessman, David Adams, was yesterday tallying his losses after a truck laden with $4.5M in stocks was allegedly hijacked by six men near the mining town of Linden on Sunday.
Police later found the truck with more than half of the items missing on a trail along the Soesdyke/Linden highway junction a few hours after it was reported missing.
According to information the incident occurred at Bamia, Linden.
Adams, who operates a restaurant, “Margaret and David’s Enterprise” in Mahdia, Region Seven, said that his stock was running “low” so he decided to rent a truck for $200,000 and load it with stock. He entered Mahdia through the Bartica route.
Around 06:00 hours on Sunday, he said that he received a call from a policeman in Linden, who told him that the road blocked by Lindeners protesting a hike in electricity rates, had been cleared by the Joint Forces, and that it was safe for him to use the Linden route, which is much cheaper and faster.
“After he told me that, I send the truck to Linden around 08:30 hours and after two hours, I found out that the truck didn’t reach Linden. So I called the police because I couldn’t make contact with the truck driver. The policeman told me that he didn’t see any truck,” Adams said.
Kaieteur News understands that during that time, around 10:00 hours, the driver, name given, contacted the owner of the truck and informed her of the hijacking.
“The driver also contacted the Amelia’s Ward Police Station and informed them about the hijacking. A search was carried out and the truck was found in a trail on the Linden highway junction and some of the stock was found scattered on the road,” the businessman said.
The truck was reloaded and was sent to Georgetown. The driver of the truck told Kaieteur News that he was driving on the Linden highway when he noticed “some people were standing straight ahead of me so I decide to turn back because there were also some woods on the road.”
He said he reversed and tried to turn around but it was too late since “a car pull up and five to six men come and open the door and take away the key and we run away and run into the bush and we find the police outpost and we told them what happen.”
Assistant Police Commissioner Gavin Primo, who is also the E&F Divisional Commander, confirmed that police had received the robbery report. He said that police, acting on information, travelled to Millie’s Hideout where they found the truck, which still had a number of items inside.
He said that several men fled from the scene when the ranks approached.
The Commander said that the driver alleged that the occupants of a car had approached him in the vicinity of Bamia. He alleged that about eight men approached him and ordered him out of the vehicle. The driver allegedly then jumped out and fled.
The businessman said that he has no other choice than to reload the truck that he rented and restock it with more goods and send it to Mahdia through the Bartica route.
Since the protest which began two Wednesdays ago, there have been reported robberies and of truckers being forced to pay over a fee to pass roadblocks manned by still unidentified men.
A key bridge at Kara Kara, Linden, had been blocked by protestors.
With Linden a critical artery that leads to interior mining and logging camps, and to neighbouring Brazil, the blocking of the bridge by protestors had badly affected activities.
Several banks in Linden are reportedly without cash and truckloads of logs are stuck in Kwakwani, Upper Berbice, Region Ten, Government yesterday reported.
Supplies have been running low in the mining and logging camps with many of the operators being forced to fly in critical items or take the longer, more expensive route in Bartica.
Two ships are due in for Bosai, a Chinese company operating the Linden bauxite plant.
Over 500 workers are attached to Bosai. Many of them had stayed away during the protests.
However, according to Natural Resources Minister, Robert Persaud, only one would be filled because of low production.
That company has reported over $200M in losses since the strike.
Questioned as to the implications of the strike on the interior operations, the Minister yesterday said that Government has requested its regulators, the Guyana Forestry Commission and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission to conduct an impact analysis of the situation.
Some operators are paying as much as $250,000 to take out 500 pounds of supplies.
Camps with staffers are in a bad way with some of them having more than 200 workers.
According to Persaud, the protests are “biting deep”; sawmills are closing operations because of non-supplies. The vibrant construction industry is being affected because of the shortage of lumber.
Bosai has threatened to hold back a planned US$200M in investments.
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