Monday, January 22, 2018

Tension at quarry

An early morning incident involving armed officers from security firm Executive Bodyguard Services Ltd (EBSL) unfolded at a quarrying site on the Blanchisseuse Road yesterday.

Their actions were described by the quarry owners as “aggressive” and “intimidatory”.

The quarry owners told the Sunday Express that workers feared for their safety, after they were relieved of their cellphones and ordered off the compound by the armed security officers around 5.45 yesterday morning. 

They said this armed intrusion into their property was done under the eyes of police officers.

The limestone quarry PTF Mining, owned by husband and wife Andrew and Deborah Fredericks, was at one time leased to Super Industrial Services Ltd (SIS) which also owns the EBSL security firm. 

Police would later yesterday say that the security firm was there to retrieve equipment belonging to SIS.

EBSL also provides security to the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). 

Deborah Fredericks told the Sunday Express yesterday that “at approximately 5.45 a.m. SIS and their security officers accompanied by police officers PC Rampersad, PC Baksh and PC Williams from the Tunapuna Police Station arrived at PTF Mining in vehicles together with trailers, armed with guns”.

She explained there was a lease arrangement between SIS and her company but “due to a number of breaches, the lease was terminated on Saturday 18, January 2014, by us exercising our right of reentry onto the premises”.

Fredericks added that on that day SIS responded by sending its security firm to the quarry site.

 “Our security officers, Marksman Security, were able to restrain them from entering the premises. They then proceeded to the Arima Police Station where they reported that they were thrown out by us,” Fredericks said.

She said: “Officers of the Arima Police Station then visited the PTF Mining operations in their company, where they were informed by Ryan Mohammed, head of our Marksman Security, that this was an ongoing legal matter between SIS and PTF Mining Ltd. They then took their leave.”

According to her between January 18 and last Thursday, there was no dialogue between her lawyers and SIS.

She however explained that last Friday a letter was sent from her lawyers MG Daly Ltd, to the owner of SIS, “stating our intentions and seeking also to schedule a meeting between SIS and PTF Mining and our respective lawyers”.

But she said armed security came to the quarry site yesterday, frightened the workers and proceeded to remove pieces of equipment that belonged to SIS. 

Following the incident yesterday, Marksman Security officers notified the Arima police and were directed to speak with Senior Superintendent Wayne Dick attached to Police Headquarters in Port of Spain. Fredericks said her husband made his way to Dick’s office at 1 p.m. yesterday to have the matter rectified. 

She has also sent a detailed account of the incident to Minister of National Security Gary Griffith who has confirmed receipt and who has since passed on to Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams for investigation. 

 Contacted for comment yesterday, Senior Superintendent Dick told the Sunday Express, a police escort was provided for SIS following a request to the head of the Northern Division, Senior Supt David Abraham. 

 “All I can say about that there is a gentleman from SIS who applied for officers to escort some equipment, and he paid his money and that was done. He did not apply to me but applied to Sen Supt David Abraham. I was not aware of any issues, but there seemed to be some issues between the man who applied and the owner of the quarry.”

Dick said it was a “normal thing in the Police Service for anybody to apply for police escort”, confirming that the firm which applied was SIS.

A call to SIS at its Rivulet Road, Brechin Castle, Couva, address proved futile yesterday. 

A man who called himself “Narine” answered the phone but said nobody could be contacted at this time. 

He also said he had no contact numbers for his bosses.