Guyana mail reportedly stolen from Trinidad airport
Guyana Chronicle
February 21, 2002

THOSE persons who damaged Guyana-bound mail found dumped off a racetrack in Trinidad, may have been searching for money enclosed in letters, officials of the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) said yesterday.

The mail being sorted out by GPO workers yesterday were all open, damp, and messy, evidently tampered with before being disposed of after the items were reportedly stolen from the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad.

Some of the items recovered were legal letters of administration, banker's cheques, money orders, examination results and personal mail and photographs.

Assistant Post Master General, Mr. Leon Dickson said the Post Office will notify the addressees of mail on which addresses can be identified of the plight as he noted the difficulty in sorting the letters and other mail.

The mail from the United Kingdom destined for Guyana was discovered near the Santa Rosa Racetrack last November and the local post office was informed of the discovery through the Trinidad Postal Administration.

GPO said it holds the British West Indian Airways (BWIA) responsible for the incident as Dickson noted that the mail should not have left the Trinidad airport after arrival there. The mail was reportedly stolen from the airport.

"This discovery validates Guyana's claim of malpractice with the mail, whenever it was transited via BWIA through Trinidad", he stated earlier.

Dickson said BWIA has since offered no explanation other than a statement that it was investigating the matter.

The Chronicle could not reach BWIA officials here for a comment yesterday.

According to information it received from Trinidad, GPO said the letters and packets were posted between July and October last year.

Some of the letters were scattered in bushes, while the remainder was in BWIA Jet Pack bags.

GPO said that during the latter part of last year many persons were complaining of outstanding mail from the United Kingdom.

To solve this problem, the Post Office was in constant contact with London to ascertain the reason for the delay in getting mail dispatched, it said.

GPO noted that it had repeatedly sought the cooperation of the UK postal authorities not to send mail destined for Guyana through Trinidad since there were numerous instances of mail tampering.

The corporation said the UK postal authorities finally agreed to bypass BWIA and use another airline to convey the mail to Barbados, then onwards to Guyana.

Since the arrangement was introduced earlier this month, mail from the UK has been arriving intact regularly five times a week, GPO reported.

It said it has also been successful in persuading the Canadian authorities to use Barbados as the transit point and to utilise another airline to convey its mail. (ABIGAIL BUTLER)