GUYANA: Illegal Concrete Factory Ordered To Cease Operations Immediately

By abroek News – May 11, 2021 — Company had no EPA or CHPA approval

Principals of the facility (left) in a standoff with Ministry of Housing officials (CH&PA photo)

Proprietors of an illegal industrial facility adjacent to South Ruimveldt Gardens, have been ordered to immediately cease all operations. The company is a foreign-controlled company, Superior Concrete Inc.

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Central Housing & Planning Authority (CH&PA), Sherwyn Greaves, visited the location today, where two men identified as representatives were served with a third Contravention Notice. Croal said that based on the CH&PA’s land use policy, the parcel of land has not been approved for industrial activity and the relevant agencies were not engaged.         

“As a government we welcome investment, but there is a proper manner in which investments are to be done and the first agency that is involved in permits for construction and commercial purposes is the Central Housing and Planning Authority… However, no application was done and secondly when the Central Housing and Planning Authority team came to serve that [first] contravention notice, they were met with a hostile environment,”  Croal said, according to a release from CH&PA.

The first contravention notice was served to the company on May 5 by Enforcement Officers attached to CH&PA, who reported that the notice was destroyed by representatives of the company, prompting a second notice on May 8. The second notice was placed in a conspicuous location as mandated, since no one was on the property at the time, the release said.

Croal further stated that all of the necessary legal options will be employed by the state to ensure that the issue is resolved.

Meanwhile, CEO of CH&PA, Sherwyn Greaves, stated that the factory, is also a concern to the residents living in the area, who have listed several complaints since its establishment.

Greaves also noted that in order to begin operation the company would have also needed approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Mayor and City Council (M&CC), none of which were approached.

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BACKGROUND:

Illegal foreign concrete factory linked to Exxon

– Director discards Contravention Order

Austin Shamlin, Director of Superior Concrete Inc.

Ian Charles Jones, Director of Superior Concrete Inc.

 May 10, 2021Kaieteur News – A foreign-controlled company, Superior Concrete Inc., whose officers are Ian Charles Jones, Richard Austin Shamlin and Maxwell Christopher Snow, has proceeded to build a concrete batching facility in Houston without any regulatory permission. Kaieteur News has confirmed this with the Mayor and City Council, Central Housing and Planning Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency.

To make matters worse, when the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) visited the site to serve a Contravention Order last week, this Order was discarded by Jones. The document demanded that the foreign officers show which regulatory body gave them the power or the permission to go ahead with their operations.   

The land in question is a development adjacent to South Ruimveldt. Kaieteur News was able to obtain a copy of the transport for the plot in use and observed that it is part of Houston Estates. The land is also partly owned by Michael Vieira, who is the Chairman of Houston Estates. KN understands that Vieira has no part of the operation but has leased the lands to Andrew Mekdeci. Vieira has indicated to concerned landowners that he does not know the owners of Superior Concrete Inc. and he has no arrangement with them. He has also stated that his lease to Mekdeci specifies that the land is to be used only for legal and lawful purposes. The relationship between Mekdeci and Superior Concrete Inc. is unknown. However, it was observed by this publication during a site visit that machinery operating on the site is branded MMC, a company owned and controlled by Andrew and Marise Mekdeci.

Andrew and Marise Mekdeci, the owners of MMC

What this newspaper also learnt is that Ian Charles Jones is listed on the popular business networking website, LinkedIn, as the “Project Manager for the construction of a high specification ExxonMobil headquarters building in Guyana” for the period November 2019 to September 2020.

Furthermore, industry players have expressed concern that the factory is being set up to supply concrete for the construction of ExxonMobil’s new headquarters in Ogle, ECD, especially for its piling efforts. With the foreign-owned company evading the applicable laws and regulations and operating in a rogue manner, there are growing concern that it is representative of yet another strong blow to local content development and respect for the rule of law. Moreover, stakeholders posit that local, legitimate concrete operations will be placed at a disadvantage.

Another point of note is that under company law, Superior Concrete Inc. can be classified as a “local company,” despite having all foreign officers. This state of affairs has given rise to questions surrounding the ability of foreign investors to easily extend their tentacles into the local market while hiding under the cloak of weak laws.

One crucial question being asked by local stakeholders is whether the foreign officers of Superior Concrete Inc. are conducting business in Guyana on a visitor’s visa, which contravenes the limitations of this visa classification, or have these companies been adequately vetted and been issued work permits to their foreign employees? If the latter is not correct, local stakeholders told Kaieteur News that it would be an apparent breach of the local laws. They also note that it is an issue which should engage the attention of the relevant authorities.
In the meantime, Kaieteur News understands that residents in the area are preparing to petition the authorities about the illegal operations. Other stakeholders have also filed legal proceedings seeking a resolution.

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Comments

  • 1gtman  On 05/12/2021 at 3:28 am

    Lawlessness reigns supreme in the land of my birth!

  • Georgy Porgy  On 05/12/2021 at 11:01 am

    Obviously this company does not think that Guyana laws apply to them. I’m sure there’s more to this than meets the eye.

  • Dennis Albert  On 05/12/2021 at 1:35 pm

    The irony of this standoff is that in the UK, where many of the Directors are domiciled, there are Professors at Cambridge and Oxford who “protest” in the nude, and the staff have to be cordial, polite and respectful when talking to the naked white woman.

    Guyanese should already know how they are taught to have to RESPECT the racist gun-toting white man in Alabama, or to praise the police while being shot Black or Brown,
    or to treat a naked white woman with respect while she is nude around children at a “protest” [the last days of the ABCEU countries]

    But…

    These British executives believe they have every right to DISRESPECT a non-white minister in a non-white country, while the same British executives would have to bow down to the Queen of England.

  • Chris Prashad  On 05/12/2021 at 7:11 pm

    Time to tell these foreign white trash that massa days done a long time ago and if they fail to comply with our laws and regulations they should be kicked out of the country immediately despite their so-called investments. White supremacy is not recognized here, period!
    Do you think any of us (Guyanese) can go to their countries and do what they did with impunity????

    • Dennis Albert  On 05/19/2021 at 2:07 pm

      There is something about being Russian or European that involves invading other countries to take their land and mistreat the locals.
      Meanwhile, the Russian or Polish Nazi supports Israel because Palestinians are a race of “Muslims”.

  • Joan Seymour  On 05/18/2021 at 3:32 pm

    These so called company directors would be banned from ding nosiness in Guyana, and also their companies.

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