Grave doubts surround a claim being made by the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) that a settlement had been reached between the local operators of the Mt. Hartman Quarry and a Chinese outfit on allegations that the group from the Far East had illegally removed boulders from the quarry.
THE NEW TODAY approached the police for information on the status of their investigation into the complaint made by CCCCI that on September 17 a truck from the nearby Chinese construction site had ventured onto the Quarry compound and took away about eight tonnes of boulders valued at approximately EC$750. 00.
Four officers from the South St. George Police station responded to the complaint from the quarry and soon left to visit the nearby location of the Chinese as part of their investigation.
When asked this week by a senior reporter on the status of the police investigation, spokesman for RGPF, Superintendent Vannie Curwen said: “The matter has been dealt with by the South St George Police Station. No charges have been laid. It seems to have been a misunderstanding between both parties and both parties were engaged in the process and the issues are settled”.
Earlier in the week, the reporter had asked the same question at a police press conference that was hosted by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Jesmon Prince and Supt Curwen, the head of the Community Relations Department of RGPF.
ASP Prince who apparently was surprised at the question, responded: “I should say thank you for the question, but I am not in a position, neither any of my colleagues here are able to speak on the subject.
“Certainly when we are ready or are in a position to do so we will be addressing the Nation on the matter. So thanks for raising it. I will bring that to the attention of my Chief (Acting Commissioner of Police, Edvin Martin),” he added.
However, sources close to CCCCI disputed the police account that the matter is settled and said that a lawyer representing the operators of the quarry is pursuing the Chinese with the hope of getting them to pay for the “stolen” boulders.
“Based on the information given to you, the police (are not speaking the truth). There has been no agreement (between) those people,” a source associated with the quarry told THE NEW TODAY.
“The police have aborted the investigation – they must have gotten orders from somebody. What the police give you – the information that they give you is not correct,” he said.
According to the source, the latest development is that CCCCI has referred the matter to the company’s lawyer to take action against the Chinese since a bill will be submitted to recover the payment due on the stones.
THE NEW TODAY was also told that the Chinese had attempted to survey the area since the incident in order to determine the boundaries between their development and the Quarry site.
CCCCI reportedly stopped the Chinese from surveying since the relevant two week notice as required in law was not met by them.
The Chinese are engaged in a US$2.9 billion dollar resort investment project at Mt. Hartman.
Just over a month ago, THE NEW TODAY carried a report that the Chinese involved in the nearby Hartman Resort Grenada project had an eye on the Mt. Hartman quarry that is now under the control of a local outfit involving businessman, Nelson Louison.
Hartman Resort, which is being undertaken as part of the Grenada passport-selling scheme known as Citizenship By Investment (CBI), is reportedly in discussion with government on acquiring the quarry.
The Chinese investors have committed to carry out the project in four phases over the next 10 years with one of them being the building of a health and wellness centre that will cater to locals and visitors.
The Hartman Resort Grenada is also planning to construct a marina in the area.