Pompey: Terrorist act committed at airport
April 22, 2005
Pompey: Terrorist act committed at airport

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Godfred Pompey has described the theft of the solar panels at the E.T.Joshua Airport as a Terrorist Act.” Pompey noted that the culprits who steal these solar panels are not only causing dangers to an expensive aircraft but to the irreplaceable lives that are in them. {{more}}He lamented that harsher sentences need to be imposed on the perpetrators of this criminal act since they have no regard for peoples lives. He said that they would be stepping up security at these solar panels to ensure that nationals and visitors can safely return by air. He urged citizens to be more vigilant when they see suspicious behaviour since the culprits may have found a market for the solar panels.

Director of Airports Alistair Alexander noted that while they have received the new shipment of solar panels from Canada, they have discovered that four more of the panels are now missing. He said luckily of the seven that were missing and that they shipped in they decided to bring in three extra ones. He noted that it was a fortunate thing that they did ship in the three extras, because they now have to use them all up. He noted that of the 12 panels that were at Rock Fort, a total of 11 were stolen and had to be replaced. The Airport Director said that the solar panel lights, which guide aircraft into the country, would soon be reactivated to ensure efficient and safe air access. Alexander noted that this country fell below the safety lighting system when the solar panels were stolen on Wednesday March 30 and caused the cancellation of two Caribbean Star flights.

He said that this country was however granted special consideration until Wednesday April 13, but an extension was given because of the delay in the shipment of solar panels from Siemens in Canada. The Airports Director noted that the Civil Engineering Authority granted the extra extension until the panels arrived and were installed. Police have however made progress by arresting Roger Joseph and Nigel Small of Dorsetshire Hill for the disappearance of the panels. The two young men reportedly stole the solar panels between September 1-30 last year. The solar panel lights were recovered last Sunday at the homes of the accused during the investigations. They used them to provide electricity for their homes and to charge batteries. Joseph received 15 months in jail while Small got a 12-month sentence. Court Prosecutor Inspector Ekron Lockhart noted that the crimes were serious since the stolen panels caused flights at the E.T.Joshua Airport to be cancelled. Investigations into the disappearance of solar panels have been occurring since 2001. Police believed that the panels were being sold in neighbouring Caribbean countries. Each panel costs US$585.00.