Authorities are reportedly paying close attention to a move by persons on the MovieTowne site, Turkeyen, to sell building materials.
According to well-placed officials, complaints have been filed with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ministry of Finance of possible breaches of concessions.
The allegations are that equipment brought in under tax concessions for the construction of the US$150M expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), somehow ended up being mixed up with the US$40M MovieTowne project, which was supposed to have been partially opened this month.
A Chinese contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), is involved in both the CJIA and MovieTowne project.
The Chinese company has long been accused of using its trucks and employees on both sites, a clear no-no, as work permits were reportedly granted under strict terms.
Under the regulations, concessions are specifically to be used on the projects that they are approved for. They cannot be sold or even taken to another site without GRA being informed.
Yesterday, one individual who goes by the name of Feihu Wang, took to Facebook – under the ‘Buy and Sell Stuff Guyana’ marketplace, advertising for sale “Construction material left movie towne building” (sic).
The advertisement also indicated that other tools were available too for quick sale. A telephone number 645-9594 was listed. See link: https://www.facebook.com/search/str/feihu+wang+buy+and+sell+stuff+Guyana++construction+material+left/keywords_search
MovieTowne main principal is Derek Chin, who is well known for his investments including the MovieTowne chain in Trinidad. Chin is a Guyanese who migrated decades ago to Canada before investing in Trinidad.
CHEC has been under the radar for the construction of the airport which had fallen way behind and which is expected to be finally completed this yearend. The project had been initiated under the Bharrat Jagdeo regime, but badly planned and conceptualized.
Cost overruns and overpayments saw the Coalition Government halting the project when it entered office in 2015. By then, about 75-80 percent of the budget had been spent. To continue the project, Government said it was forced to redesign the layout, using back the old terminal building instead of building a totally new one.
Ex-CHEC staffers alleged that trucks used at the airport were secretly fetching sand for the MovieTowne site, using sandpits that Government had allowed for the airport project.
The owners of Giftland Mall, located not far from MovieTowne had complained that its soon-to-be competitor had unfairly benefitted from tax and other concessions.
However, GRA sources said that the duty free concessions were limited to equipment for the eight screen cinemas that MovieTowne is building.
With regards to the materials, MovieTowne applied too late for concessions.
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