A transformer that was stolen from the Guyana Power & Light (GPL) was found installed at the new mall that was opened last December at the corner of Wellington and Regent streets and was removed yesterday.
A senior police source yesterday told Stabroek News that the police have launched an investigation into the discovery and that the owner of the mall was among four persons questioned. “…persons would be charged, we are conducting the investigation and it has been confirmed that the transformer belongs to GPL,” the police source said.
When Stabroek News contacted General Manager of GPL, Bharrat Dindyal he confirmed the discovery of the transformer but declined to go into further detail as the police are investigating.
Stabroek News attempted to contact the owner of the ‘Regent Multiplex’, Ganesh Ramlall, on his cell number on a number of occasions but failed. He subsequently called the number that showed up on his phone and spoke with the reporter covering the story. He denied that a stolen transformer had been purchased and further said “if anything end up in the Stabroek New you all guh know…” When asked why the transformer had to be removed from the mall yesterday morning he said that it had to be taken to Sophia to be tested.
Ramlall was told that the police have confirmed with Stabroek News that they are investigating how GPL’s transformer, which was identified by its number, ended up at his mall and that he was questioned. The mall owner said that this newspaper should make contact with GPL. Told that contact had already been made with GPL, Ramlall said “then dah is the correct people to talk”. He declined to say whether he had been questioned by the police and he then disconnected the call.
Stabroek News visited Ramlall’s mall yesterday and it was observed that a large hole had been gouged in one of the concrete walls so that the transformer could be removed and a number of workmen were preparing to move it. GPL employees along with a vehicle were waiting to retrieve the transformer while a mason was on hand to reseal the wall. Ramlall’s workers could not say why the wall was broken to remove the transformer and they said they were waiting for him to arrive at the location.
The police source said that Ramlall indicated that he had wanted a transformer to purchase and a man had told him he could get one for him. The man subsequently delivered the transformer.
Last February GPL had said that three new transformers were vandalized and that intelligence had resulted in 10 others being found at a Middle Road, La Penitence scrap dealer which resulted in several arrests. Other were also said to be missing.
In a press release the company had said it continued to be alarmed at the theft of its T&D equipment and in the past month it has noted that three transformers in the Kingston area that served the Government
Food and Drug/Analyst Department were illegally de-energised and vandalized. The company had said only bits of metal remained of the transformers as thieves had carted off the shell, core and windings.
The company had said that it took as long as 60 weeks to receive replacement transformers from manufacturers. It had said too the “costs for replacing these transformers are astronomical, and continue to place a heavy burden on the company’s finances.”
A few days later the company had fingered a gang that it said was linked to the theft of transformers and other metal-based materials from its Sophia depot.
“We have discovered the whole operation. We have identified the group and we know who the individuals are. They are on the run from the police and some of them have actually abandoned their homes at Sophia,” Dindyal had said at the time.