Officials at the Port of Port-of-Spain stopped millions of dollars in equipment from being loaded unto the Carabia, a vessel bound for Guyana, after discovering several discrepancies in the documents presented.
Sources told Guardian Media four of the trailers, part of a shipment being loaded for a project in Guyana by a local contractor, appeared to be unregistered.
“What we found out was that the unregistered trailers had registered number plates on them. We later had to remove the plates from the trailers and have it checked,” said a senior port source familiar with the situation.
Officers from the Fraud Squad and the Stolen Vehicles Squad were alerted about the situation and were speaking to port officials about the incident.
Questions were also raised about some dump trucks that were also to be loaded on the vessel.
“What the shipping agent told us was that the certificates presented for the dump trucks were not what he was accustomed to seeing. There was the general certification of the trucks but on these certificates, some important information was missing,” the port source said.
Authorities said late yesterday evening after several enquiries were conducted, the trucks all checked out.
The vessel which arrived last night offloaded 669 cars—257 new vehicles, 331 used and 81 transhipment vehicles—and had been expected to load up and leave by just after lunch today.
“Instructions have been given that nothing is to be loaded onto that vessel until proper checks are made,” the source said
An officer at the Stolen Vehicles Fraud Squad said checks will have to be made to ensure chassis numbers match up to the trucks on the port.
They will have to liaise with Customs and Excise to verify the information on the C82 form. The source explained this is something that has to be done when any vehicles or similar equipment enter or leave the country.
Sources also explained that the contractor in question will not be allowed to ship this batch of equipment until the issue involving the trailers are thoroughly investigated.