Security firm owner out on bail in ‘One Laptop’ theft probe

Richard Kanhai, owner of the Strategic Action Security, was yesterday released on $200,000 station bail pending the outcome of an investigation into the possession of several stolen items, including One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) computers.

A police source told Stabroek News that one of the computers found at Kanhai’s premises has since been verified as stolen, from the over 150 reported missing last August by the OLPF Project.

Kanhai was in police custody from Thursday morning following an operation by police on Wednesday at his Laluni Street, Queenstown business premises. Police from both La Grange West Coast Demerara (WCD) and Eve Leary, acting on intelligence gathered from sources, swooped down on the building and found several stolen articles including four laptops and other electronic devices.

Police searched the property after receiving tips from persons that items stolen from a number of villages on the WCD were sold at devalued costs to an official of the company and that some of the items were in storage at the Queenstown office.

Yesterday, Kanhai’s attorney Euclin Gomes told Stabroek News that his client was released on $200,000 station bail. He said he wished to make no further comment as the police were actively undertaking their investigations and he did not want to hinder their “free reign.”

Visits were made to Khanai’s residence and business place where reporters were met by security guards pondering how they will be paid their weekly wages. One official of the company informed that he had not heard from Khanai since he was taken in for questioning on Thursday morning. “We too here ain’t know what happening. You hear he coming out but we ain’t seeing he and want to know the latest,” the man said.

The recovered OLPF computer was believed to have been stolen from the project’s warehouse in Forshaw Street, Queenstown, a few corners away from Strategic’s head office.

Police said they are trying to trace who the other three were issued to.

Six staff members of the OLPF project were sent home to facilitate a probe by police into the theft of the laptops, the Government Information Agency (GINA) had stated last year.

However, to date, no one has been charged with that theft although investigations are ongoing.

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