Watts ‘put out’ by Port Authority’s alleged arrangement to rent tugs and crews from Dominica in possible enrichment scheme

As a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda, St. George MP Algernon “Serpent” Watts says he is “very put out” by the fact that the Port Authority does not have a tug of its own and he describes the situation as a shame.

According to reports, the local tug developed engine problems and officials are trying to source the parts to make it operable again.

Since then, from all accounts, the tugs in operation are being rented from Dominica, and this has been the situation for quite some time, Watts says. 

What is going on at the Port currently is another creative way to enrich someone, the MP says. 

Officials at the Port are alleged to have links to Dominica, and Watts alleges that it is not just the tugs that have been brought in.  Although there are locals who can captain these vessels, management reportedly is paying to bring in crews, as well.

Meanwhile, sources say there seem to be moves at the Port to allow certain officials to cut into the business of the private residents who unload the vessels arriving here.

It is alleged that, in situations where one company is responsible for removing building supplies from vessels, senior management at the Port is working with other private entities to cut out the individual who usually provides this service.

Watts says this appears to be in line with the directive of Prime Minister Gaston Browne to his ministers and colleagues: to find ways of creatively enriching themselves.

Meanwhile, Port workers are complaining to REAL News that a racket involving supplies of cement is unfolding, with a prominent government official being the beneficiary.  

This, the workers say, needs an investigation, as well as the construction activities of a manager, whose “building boom” is not commensurate with his legitimate salary.