By Kebba Ansu Manneh
A reliable source closed to this medium has hinted to us of the recovery of more than one hundred and fifteen (115) oxygen cylinders alleged to belong to Banjul Oxygen Company from SRN Steels Factory located at Kitty village, Kombo Central District, West Coast Region (WCR).
Our sources disclosed that on Wednesday 3rd August CID officers attached to Brikama Police station identified these oxygen cylinders during an investigation at the SRN Steels Factory and later seized them and escorted them to the Brikama Police Station.
Our source continued that the identification of these oxygen cylinders was witnessed by officials of both Banjul Oxygen and SRN Steels Factory, noting that one hundred and twenty-four (124) oxygen cylinders said to belong to Banjul Oxygen Company were recovered and taken to Brikama Police Station where they have been kept since then.
“I can confirm that on Wednesday 3rd August 2022, Criminal Investigation Officers (CID) of Brikama Police station came to SRN Steels Factory with some staff of Banjul Oxygen Company to conduct identification of their missing oxygen cylinders. During the identification processes, more than one hundred and twenty-four oxygen cylinders were identified, seized, and escorted to Brikama Police station,” our source revealed.
The source explained that “I understand that these bottles were taken from Banjul Oxygen Company by SRN Steels Company who refused to return the empty cylinders. I also understand that the matter was reported to Brikama Police station CID who led the identification process before they escorted all the bottles identified to Brikama for the due process of the law to take its course.”
An insider at Banjul Oxygen Company confirmed the development stating that the company noticed shortages in its oxygen cylinders which prompted them to opt for both internal and external investigations that gave the lead to report the matter to the police. Disclosed further that one hundred and twenty-four (124) oxygen cylinders have been identified and recovered by the police in Brikama and they have since opened a file and are proceeding with investigations.
The insider went further that upon launching their investigation over the issue, Banjul Oxygen Company realised that most of their Oxygen Cylinders that went missing are been used by SRN Steels who are also into oxygen production. And further investigations revealed that SRN Steels is already grinding the labels and serial numbers of Banjul Oxygen Company marked on the cylinders as well as painting the cylinders from grey to black colors.
According to him, the company is still following up on the missing oxygen cylinders which are hampering the company’s production output recently, hence the cylinders are the lifeblood of oxygen plants without them there cannot be any production at the plant.
However, the insider declined further explanation on the matter as the police already opened investigations. Added that the act orchestrated by SRN Steels was well calculated and meant to send Banjul Oxygen Company to close business.
The Voice Newspaper has spoken with Sanjay Kumar, Proprietor of SRN Steels Factory at Kitty who also confirmed that police have indeed taken away oxygen cylinders from his factory, adding that he has already given his statement to the police who are doing their investigation into the matter. He denied any wrongdoing and described all the allegations as false.
The Voice Newspaper contacted the Police Public Relations Officer, Lamin Njie to shed light on the matter but all efforts failed to get him as we goes to the press.