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Container racket bust at Pt Lisas Port

Wednesday 2nd May, 2007
http://www.guardian.co.tt

Officers of the Anti-Corruption Investigation Bureau (ACIB) believe they have uncovered a major racket involving the stealing of containers from the Pt Lisas Port, following the arrest of several Plipdeco employees.

Authorities believe the racket could have cost the State hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue losses.

Senior officers in the bureau believe the racket could have also compromised national security.

The operation, conducted by ACIB officers and assisted by the Counter Drug Task Force and the Customs and Excise Preventative Department, resulted in several senior employees of Gordon Grant Ltd, Plipdeco and shipping agents being called in to assist the police and customs department with further enquiries.

Enquiries into the affair began several weeks ago when reports were received that containers loaded with alcohol, electronics, salt-fish and other articles, reportedly valued in one instance at over US$100,000, were stolen from the Pt Lisas port.

As a result of information received, a surveillance team was detailed to monitor activities at the port.

This resulted in the seizure of seven empty 40-foot containers at a location in the Barataria area on Saturday.

Employees of Plipdeco were arrested in the process of delivering the containers to a prospective purchaser.

It was then discovered that the containers left the port without the required documentation and without the relevant duties being paid to the customs.

The exercise was led by Ag Assistant Police Commissioner Raymond Craig and Ag Supt Joseph Edwards of the ACIB and Senior Officer Chandler of the Customs and Excise Preventative Branch.

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