Associated Press Report news item misleading says army major
No report received of coup attempt
Stabroek News
July 30, 2002

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Public Relations Officer of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Major Hubert Meusa has refuted a news report which quoted him as saying that there should be tightened security, including more police presence because of rumours of a coup attempt.

The Associated Press (AP) report, published in yesterday's Kaieteur News and in the Jamaica Observer, quoted the military as saying that it was preparing to increase security patrols this week as rumours of a coup attempt continued to swirl around the capital city of Georgetown.

The report quoted Major Meusa as saying "There should be tightened security, including more police presence. Our troops will be mobilised to be on standby."

Further, the report stated that Meusa said that the army was taking the coup rumours seriously, especially following last week's disappearance of a large quantity of fertiliser from a warehouse at the state-run Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO). The report said that fertilisers can be used to make explosives.

Contacted yesterday by Stabroek News, Major Meusa said that he was questioned by the AP correspondent about the coup rumours and he responded by stating that the army had not received any information from the police or the government about such rumours.

He was then asked what would happen if they received such a report. He said that in such a case, security would be tightened.

The AP report, he noted, makes it appear as if he said that the army was already responding to actual reports it had received.

Meanwhile, a press release from GUYSUCO in responding to the report that a large quantity of fertiliser, which could be used to make explosives, was stolen, stated that a small quantity of the herbicide Ally was removed from its fertiliser bond at the La Bonne Intention, East Coast, Demerara estate between July 13 and 14.

According to the release, Ally is used in the control of broad-leafed weeds, and does not have the potential for making explosives.

It said that the loss is under investigation by the Guyana Police Force and the corporation's security department.

And Chief Executive Director of GUYSUCO, Brian Webb told Stabroek News that even the type of chemical fertilisers which the corporation uses in cane cultivation could not be used for making explosives. He dismissed the report as a wild speculation.