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Hoodlums putting a strain on China Harbour Engineering Company

Published:Wednesday | March 4, 2015 | 7:43 PMGary Spaulding

Thieves are again running rampant, with high drama being played out in Bog Walk, St Catherine, early yesterday near the area where four men were gunned down five months ago as they transported payroll for China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

As they did in October 2014, the hoodlums escaped during a daylight incident, the latest in a series of criminal activities that have left workers cowering.

Although security has been beefed up at the huge construction facility in Chalky Hill, in the aftermath of last year's killings, thugs have once again been unleashed on the area.

"Things are getting increasingly worse and our workers are starting to become concerned for their safety because of a series of security problems," said Xingjun Guo, department manager for the North-South Highway Project, Section Three, Golden Grove in St Ann's Bay.

Guo confirmed that thieves followed up with a brazen daylight robbery of petrol after an early-morning operation.

"I just got a report from our site supervisor who is in charge .... near the Chalky Hill area that two thieves were found on our site stealing fuel from our equipment during daytime ... about 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon," Guo said.

mechanical problems

The report indicated that due to mechanical problems, fuel container was parked by a retaining wall located about 50 metres from where staff members were working.

"The thieves ran away when they were found by our construction team. It is about 10 gallons of diesel that was stolen," he said.

"What makes us concerned is that the security situation is becoming more and more serious, as they usually steal at nights (and) now they have started to work during daytime," he told The Gleaner.

Jennifer Armond, CHEC's communications manager, said the criminals have been carrying out their actions for some time, and that the company's management was gathering evidence.

"But we had a huge awakening yesterday, where there was a chase with the truck ending up in a nearby cane field," she said.

Armond said leaked petrol found in the cane field, caused CHEC officials to carry out a survey.

"When they surveyed what was going on, (it turned out) the thieves had a line from the fuel storage unit with a pump and line that goes under the fence and outside where they pumped out the fuel at nights," she said.