Where could the missing motorcycles possibly be? That was the question facing top brass at the Customs and Excise Department this week after six seized motorcycles that were being kept in a container on the Castries Wharf went missing. From the account of Deputy Comptroller (project manager) Nigel Edwin, security at the wharf had been breeched.
It was no easy task getting in contact with anyone from the department in order to get a comment on the wharf heist, but when the STAR finally spoke with Edwin, he confirmed that six motorcycles had been stolen from the wharf between 11pm on Sunday, January 2 and 1pm on Monday, January 3 2011—a 14-hour time gap over a long holiday weekend! We wonder, where could the persons who were supposed to be securing the wharf were? Watching the fireworks display perhaps?
According to Edwin, the motorcycles had been smuggled in and were not registered for the road, hence the reason they were all seized.
“Anytime situations like that come about, [items] that are not duly imported, [are] recovered and seized until paid off and penalties administered,” Edwin explained.
The Deputy Comptroller said there wasn’t much information he could provide for the time being and that the matter had been handed over to the police.
Already three of the missing motorcycles have been recovered as police attempt to deal with the criminal matter. On Friday morning there were several stop and search operations set up along the highway where officers made a point of stopping bikers ensuring their registration documents were in order. There were also operations undertaken in the Faux-au-chaux area.
During operations in Faux-au-chaux, police press relations officer Trevor Constantine said using the description of the bikes given to police by customs, officers were able to identify two men riding what appeared to be one of the stolen bikes. The two riders were stopped, the motorcycle identified and the men taken into police custody. After recovering the first motorcycle, two more bikes that fit the description were found in the Faux-au-chaux area—which happens to be right next door to the area the were stolen from in the first place!
“There has been some progress, that is all I can say,” Edwin told the STAR. “There is a mission going on that we don’t want to pre-empt. It is a sensitive period. By next week we would have a more conclusive statement.”