File on stolen transformers probe sent to DPP for advice

Police have completed their investigations into the five stolen GPL transformers, one of which was found at a newly-opened mall, and the file has since been sent to the Director of Public Prosecu-tions (DPP) for advice, Crime Chief Assistant Commission-er Seelall Persaud said yesterday.

Persaud was asked about the status of the police investigations as President Bharrat Jagdeo on Monday said he had ordered a probe into why the police had not charged anyone as yet in connection with the theft.

Meanwhile, Managing Director of GPL Bharrat Dindyal when asked yesterday whether he was concerned that months after the theft was discovered the police are yet to lay  charges,  said that he has been very patient as the police are still doing their work.  He said that the police are being “thorough” in their investigations as it is hoped that when persons are placed before the courts there would be convictions. Dindyal said his officials have been in constant contact with the lawmen and are assisting the police in all possible ways.

“I take it they [the police] are doing a thorough job on the issue…,” Dindyal commented.
The transformers, which were discovered sometime after October last year, have since been recovered and while it was expected that persons would have appeared before the court, a senior police officer said late last week that no one had been charged as yet because the investigation had gotten a “bit wider”.

The five transformers were stolen from the company’s Sophia location sometime after October last year. One of them was discovered installed at the recently opened Regent Multiplex Mall at the corner of Regent and Wellington streets.

The theft came to light when a Campbellville businessman took three small transformers to GPL for them to be tested and it was discovered that these were the property of the company. These transformers had been sprayed over in an attempt to hide their place of origin.

A check by company officials subsequently revealed that two heavy-duty transformers, valued US$30,000 each, were also missing and information later led to the discovery of one of them at the recently opened mall earlier this month. Several persons, including owner of the mall Ganesh Ramlall, were held in connection with the find but they were later released. Two Saturdays ago the fifth transformer was found dumped on Cane View Avenue, South Ruimveldt.

Dindyal had earlier explained that the transformers were among those the company had on standby to assist in the operation of the pumps during flooding because in the 2005 Great Flood transformers were needed and the company had none available at the time.

Dindyal said the transformers were part of a “contingency plan” and he said he hoped whatever action was taken by the police would send a strong message to those involved in the theft or selling and buying of stolen transformers.
Observers have questioned why the businessman who took the three transformers to be tested in December was not charged with receiving stolen property. So far, no one has been charged in that case.

Dindyal had told Stabroek News that the police were called in as soon as GPL realised those transformers belonged to the company.

Questions have also been asked about the quality of security and the systems in place at GPL.

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