May 13, 2021 News
Illegal concrete factory…
Kaieteur News – Richard Austin Shamlin, a foreign Director of Superior Concrete Inc, has one day to leave Guyana or face deportation. This action that was handed down by government authorities comes in wake of Shamlin’s company being exposed by the media for illegally setting up a concrete factory at Houston Estates.
Kaieteur News would have reported yesterday that Shamlin had disrespected Housing Minister, Collin Croal, in the company of other officials on Tuesday during a visit to the rogue operations.
Subsequent checks by local authorities yesterday found that Shamlin was granted a working permit which had a one month lifespan but it was not renewed. As a result of overstaying his time, he was instructed by Immigration Services to leave these shores today or be deported.
The government has also instructed Shamlin’s colleague, Ian Charles Jones, who also serves as a Director of the foreign-controlled company, Superior Concrete Inc., to leave these shores within seven days following his disrespectful actions towards enforcement officers of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA). The officers recently sought to issue an Order for the company to cease the illegal construction of the factory. Instead of respecting the Order, Jones destroyed it and threw it away in the presence of the CH&PA officers.
The unlawful operation was first reported by this news entity on Saturday last. Kaieteur News had exposed that the company was setting up the concrete batching facility at Houston Estates without any regulatory permissions. In a subsequent article published on Monday, Kaieteur News exposed that Jones, who was moving full speed ahead with the concrete factory, was the Project Manager for the construction of a high specification ExxonMobil headquarters in Guyana for the period November 2019 to September 2020.
Following the foregoing, Croal, the Minister of Housing, in the company of Sherwyn Greaves, Chief Executive Officer of the CH&PA and staff of the CH&PA’s Enforcement Department visited the illegal operation with the intent of serving another cease order, but the team of government officials and regulatory officers were treated with disrespect. Shamlin had approached the team and told them to leave the premises as it is private property. He said too that he had no interest in engaging them on what they came for.
In spite of the gross disrespect, the Minister and his team followed through with their plan to issue the order. It was received by another Superior Concrete Inc. foreign Director, Maxwell Snow.
The illegal operation that was being led by Snow, Jones and Shamlin was taking place on land adjacent to South Ruimveldt. Kaieteur News was able to obtain a copy of the transport for the plot in use and observed that it is partly owned by Michael Vieira, who is the Chairman of Houston Estates. Kaieteur News understands that Vieira has no part of the illegal operation but had leased the lands to Andrew Mekdeci.
Vieira has indicated to concerned landowners that he does not know the owners of Superior Concrete Inc. and he has no arrangement with them. He has also stated that his lease to Mekdeci specifies that the land is to be used only for legal and lawful purposes.
In a statement to the Press on Tuesday night, Mekdeci denied having any involvement in this illegal operation, stating that “I will not flout the laws of Guyana.” He admitted however that his company was contracted to provide equipment and construction materials to the foreign controlled company while adding – it was observed by this publication during a site visit that machinery operating on the site is branded MMC, a company owned and controlled by Andrew and Marise Mekdeci.
In light of this declaration, Kaieteur News had sent an email on Tuesday night asking Andrew Mekdeci to answer the following questions: “1. Please state whether or not you or any company or person associated directly or indirectly with you has leased or licensed the lands in question to Superior Concrete; 2. Please state if that lease or licence is current; 3. Please state whether or not you have either (a) given Superior Concrete permission to install a cement batching plant or (b) informed Superior Concrete that the subject lands have a restriction prohibiting industrial use; 4. Since you have become aware of the cease work orders being issued by CHPA and the M&CC, have you either (a) written to Superior Concrete to terminate the lease or licence or (b) written them to stop the use of and remove the concrete plant?”
Up to Press time, no response was provided to these questions, which were emailed to Ajay Baksh of Perception Inc., a Public Relations and Advertising firm that sent the statement on Mekdeci’s behalf.
Kaieteur News will continue to follow this story.
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