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NP boss feels threatened

Valsayn home firebombed

By Mark Basant CCN Snr Multimedia Investigative Journalist

National Petroleum (NP) chairman Neil Gosine said he remained very concerned and shaken after the firebombing of his Valsayn home, which occurred early Carnival Monday morning while he and his family slept.

"I actually thought someone was breaking into the house and heard my wife screaming. I saw smoke and then I ran back to the bedroom and grabbed my five-year-old son and woke up my mother-in-law and daughter and told them to get out. We escaped through the garage entrance which was on the side of my home," said the shaken Gosine yesterday.

Gosine, for the first time since the incident, broke his silence about the near-death experience to TV6 News on the phone. He said he and his family could have been killed if he had not reacted quickly.

After making it out of their burning home, Gosine said he observed the adjoining two-bedroom apartment, which was being rented to a tenant, on fire, as well as the tenant's Honda car.

The NP chairman said he had his suspicions about the attack, which he believes could be connected to the diesel racket, since he was forced to close down at least four NP gas stations within the last year, with State-subsidised diesel being sold on the black market.

"On reflection I must say that I got threats in the past...I didn't really take them seriously, you know, and didn't consider them threats at the time. I know people would call and say watch yourself, especially with the clamping down on the diesel racket...all the changes we made with NP and the stations."

Since the brazen attack, Gosine said he and his family are staying in a secure location. Gosine said he had spoken to Minister of National Security Jack Warner about the incident and was advised by him to take several precautionary measures.

"I am trying to get security and a safe place to live for my family, my daughter is writing exams soon and this whole thing has us very afraid."

Sources at NP told TV6 News several other NP board members were being advised to make security arrangements for their safety.

The NP chairman confirmed that the police had in their possession CCTV footage of the attack, in which a man is seen throwing a flammable liquid onto the apartment adjoining Gosine's home, before entering his gallery, pouring a flammable liquid and setting it afire.

Police say the man got onto the premises from a nearby savannah next to Gosine's home.

Several employees and NP CEO Kenneth Mohammed have extended their support to Gosine and his family and they too, according to Gosine, believe the attack is connected to his job at NP.

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