PM Confirms Company Partly Owned By Government Conducted Unauthorised Sand Mining

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The company which conducted illegal sand mining in a protected area is partly owned by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said.

Reports had surfaced of illegal sand mining ongoing just a few feet off the south eastern point of Maiden Island in the North East Marine Management Area (NEMMA)

“Well I think it is a very unfortunate development and I want to thank those who alerted officials including George who I’m told is the one who took the picture and posted it on social media,” Browne said.

According to the Prime Minister, as soon as the government was aware of what was happening they got the various agencies to issue a cease-and-desist order.

“My understanding of what happened  the contractor that is doing the building of the beach or beaches for that matter they got permission to mine sand within the channel at krabs because it has silted up and that decision was a sensible decision because what has happened even the cement boat that comes in on a monthly basis we can’t accommodate a large boat and we need a large one but because the channel has silted up they, unfortunately, have not been able to satisfy the demand for cement.” Browne explained.

“So there are millions of tons of sand there but I’m told that they started to mine the sand there but they said that the quality of the sand was not good and without referring back to anyone it seemed as though the Operators took it upon themselves to venture over to Maiden Island to get the so-called good sand.”

“Now I know there are some who would want to blame the developer, YIDA. The reality is Mr. Yida has not been on the island for almost a month; he is totally unaware. He is not aware that the contractor who got the job to get the sand and to build the beach  – that they literally drifted out of the zone which they asked to harvest the sand.” Browne said in YIDA’s defense.

“It is not necessarily the fault of the developer, I would say that the contracting firm, Blue Ocean, which incidentally the government has 40% share in that judging company; unfortunately they did not manage the situation properly” He added.

He also said that the issue has been dealt with before there was any environmental degradation. The company was asked to return to the sand and they will be looking into another area off Halcyon where there is a built-up of sand.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. How much more Antiguans are going sit back and have this piece of shit calling us fools, no man this is just over and bereing, am now convince that Antiguans should be banish to Redunda

    • He treat us as fools because we ACT as fools!! (Or those that put their “x” next to his name do). I don’t know how much longer the people will take to understand that Antigua is being RAPED by our PM for HIS own benefit! I think it’s time we start looking at every single company, property, asset, etc…that GB and his immediate family has acquired since he became Prime Minister!! Maybe that will open some eyes!

  2. NAMCO is a Public Company owned by the Government and People of Antigua and Barbuda.It is fully financed with monies taken in from Government entities like West Indies Oil,ETC.Therefore,the People should be able to see how and where those funds from NAMCO are spent.We found out by accident that NAMCO is a Shareholder(40%) in the Dredging Company.I am wondering who are the shareholders of (60%) in that Dredge Company.That dredging company was involved in an illegal sand mining at Maiden Island.Or as the liars are saying the Barge drifted against the tide.Does anyone know,what other companies NAMCO is involved in.And who are the owners of those companies.Take a look at the Directors of NAMCO also known as YAMCO.It a nyam are we monies.

  3. The people’s 40% share holdings should take the 60% holders to court for deliberately putting the company into disrepute. Sue them individually in a civil court.

  4. Of course Yida is aware of where they were taking sand from…he just doesn’t care and it certainly does not appear that the PM cares either. People who are obsessed with and only care about money do not care about the future of this planet and will systematically destroy what keeps all of us alive in their never ending quest to be super rich (“look me I reach” syndrome). The constant bowing down to this (Napoleon complex) Chinese man with his ridiculous destructive project begs the question as to why any sane person would do that and especially so in this case.

  5. If its one thing I have against the so called environmentalists is that they only see things when it is done by a developer. As if they are so set against anything developers do. As far as I know the way Maiden Island is now is because a developer took care of it and placed lots of his money in to it. But people go down there and have their BBQ parties and overnight and destroy the island. And furthermore, after hurricanes pass the damage to these little islands is even bigger. Stanford has spend millions of dollar in bringing back the fish and the beach back to Maiden Island. He brought many barges of sand from Barbuda and he place many reef balls so that the fish could once again have a habitat after the fishermen had depleted the fishing stock. And while he was pumping all the millions in there not a drum was heard from the so called environmentalists. Hurricane Luis in 1995 did so much damage to our environment that we are still seeing the effects of it, especially along Dickinson Bay, Runaway Beach and Forth James. I guess the environmentalists cannot blame God for that. I would advise YIDA not to give contracts to companies that do not know what the heck they are doing and give their company a bad name. Because although anyone can see that YIDA had nothing directly to do with this, the so called concern environmentalists fired every short they can at YIDA. It is like I gave a contractor the contract to build my house and he want to cut some cost and go and take some sand from the beach to build my home. How can I be blamed for his action. When Stanford wanted to build a beach on Maiden Island he hire a fellow named Crump who had a barge and he went and got the sand from Barbuda. But if he didn’t and had gone somewhere else you could not put the blame on Stanford. And this happens also with dumping of garbage. You pay a trucking contractor to go dump some garbage at cooks and they take a short cut and your garbage is dumped somewhere else. I remember it happened to BOA. A subcontractor was contracted to go dump lots of old bank records and a few days later a man came to complain at the bank that all these paperwork was dump on his land on Burma Road. When we confronted the trucker he claimed he and the land owner had an understanding that he would bring garbage their to back fill the land. The dredging company should take full responsibility for this and if necessary be penalized.

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