GREENVILLE, Sinoe County – Oil palm company, Golden Veroleum-Liberia says some unknown persons residing in settlements within its concession area in Sinoe County are in the “constant habit” of stealing palm from its plantations.
The company’s concession is also operational in neighboring Grand Kru County.
Sinoe police have arrested a man said to have link to the palm theft in Butaw, after GVL reported the situation, according to the company’s communications officer Alphonso Kofi.
However, he said the company is carrying on community awareness aimed at discouraging the act to enable it maximize production to match its labour and other costs.
Over the past five months, some residents, especially of Butaw where the company has its head office, have been stealing palm from the farm mainly at night, GVL alleges.
The company consequently issued a warning to persons involved to desist or risk legal action when caught.
Kofi described the thievery as being on the increase thereby negatively affecting production, noting that “GVL is spending over half a million dollars daily for contractors who are harvesting and transporting the product for the company.”
Last week, the Liberia National Police arrested at least 15 individuals from camps and towns in the Sime Darby concession area in Bomi County, over similar allegations.
The dawn raid by the police was backed by a search and seizure warrant obtained from a court based on a complaint by Sime Darby, and officers eventually confiscated oil winning machines, three single barrel shot guns, machetes, and over 20 five-gallon containers of palm oil as the trial of the suspects is pending.
Meanwhile, GVL says it is finalizing plans to recruit more security officer to vigorously man the company’s operation sites.