Boat operators who refuse to comply with regulations of the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) regarding the fare structure have begun to feel the heat, since quite of number of operators ferrying passengers between the Georgetown and Vreed-en-Hoop Stellings have already been suspended for double-charging passengers on Sundays and holidays.This was related to Guyana Times by Harbour Master Michael Tennant, who explained that the move comes weeks after this newspaper had published several articles in which commuters called for MARAD’s invention in the situation.“We have already said that persons who are overcharging people and all such like, all the persons have to do is provide the name of the boat to us, and we will take the necessary action,” Tennant reminded this newspaper.Tennant said he was unable to give an approximate number of boat operators who have been suspended, but he noted that MARAD has begun to clamp down on errant operators in an effort to stamp out exploitation.Guyana Times had previously reported that boat operators were charging double fare on Sundays and holidays, much to the discomfiture of the travelling public; and Tennant, in an interview with this publication, had said passengers need to report the incidents for MARAD to act. He noted that complainants would be required to file an official report, which would require the name of the boat along with the time of the incident, since it would make the investigation easier.This newspaper was informed that boat operators usually demand a fare increase of an additional $100 when they transport half the number of passengers on this route.Passengers have also detailed cases when they were forced to pay the extra $100, some without even knowing that the additional fee is unlawful.Back then, when Guyana Times visited the Georgetown Stelling, some disgruntled passengers opined that the fare increase was quite burdensome and “unfair” to them. An angry passenger had said, “I ain’t get raise on my salary, so I ain’t concern with no raise of fare! I won’t go for no raise of fare!”Another frequent boat user had told Guyana Times, “I think that the fee increase on weekends and holidays is unnecessary and unacceptable. The boat captains and bowmen would have the maximum number of persons on board and still charge the $200 fee. It is a matter that should be looked into by the relevant authorities, because it’s an act of exploiting customers.”Another passenger of the water taxis had said, “We have no other choice. Sometimes — especially when they (boat operators) know that the bridge is closed — they try to exploit us, and I think that is unfair.”“The double-fare being charged by boat operators on Sundays and holidays is definitely ridiculous! It’s unethical! This was never approved! I believe only persons who aren’t aware of this are the ones that are being targeted. I pay $100 on those days, especially when the boats travel with a full load,” another passenger had said.A bowman who spoke to this newspaper had said the fares are increased on Sundays and holidays because those are not full working days.“Sundays and holidays is $200 (charged) because we ain’t supposed to be working. So them man does come out because them ain’t got nothing fuh do (and them want) fuh try and help de passengers to get across more fast. $200 a head. Me ain’t know why them (passengers) does row, because this is de cheapest boat fare around here,” he had declared.
A 42-year-old man, freed under the terms of the Good Friday agreement, was one of two brothers who admitted threatening to shoot security staff at a Bundoran night club in 2009.Ballyshannon District Court was given details of how Arty Forbes and his brother Raymond Forbes (45) were ejected from the Paris nite club in Bundoran on December 12th, 2009 after an altercation with two others inside the premises. After they were ejected they were said to be “pretty agitated” and it was at this stage they issued the threat to door staff. Arty Forbs faced three counts and older brother Raymond, one count of threatening to kill or cause serious harm.Initially they tried to get a taxi driver to drive them to Ballyshannon for 50 euro, but they then got another taxi driver to take them to Rossnowlagh.In the course of the journey the taxi driver overheard a discussion of the getting of a gun and the rounding up of a posse to come back.The driver dropped them to their destination, but on his return he came across a garda patrol car, as gardai had already been alerted to the altercation and the nature of the threats.The taxi man told gardai the address where he had dropped them off in Rossnowlagh.Gardai then had the location where the men were staying under surveillance until a more senior garda arrived. They believed that a weapon had been put into a car.As gardai approached, Arty Forbes became confrontational but Raymond Forbes went back into the house and retrieved a .22 magnum anschutz rifle. He handed it over to gardai but there was no ammunition for it. It was legally held.Defence solicitor Florence Hutchinson said people at the club didn’t take the gun threat seriously, the brothers didn’t ask the taxi to wait to bring them back to the club, and they weren’t arrested on the night.Raymond Forbes had gone back into their house and handed over the gun voluntarily when asked about the earlier incident by gardai, she added.She said: “It was an idle threat in a drunken outburst. It was most regrettable and they had no facility to carry it out,” a reference to gardai not finding any bullets or ammunition.She said that the two were no longer involved in politics and were making a fresh start after growing up in Strabane.Judge Mary Devins heard that both had previous convictions of the brothers in Northern Ireland, including a Belfast Crown Court conviction in 1990 against Arty of possession of explosives with intent to endanger life when he received 18 years but was later released under the Good Friday agreement.Raymond Forbes had a Strabane conviction for criminal assault and possession of an offensive weapon, but none in the south.Judge Devins observed: “In the light of the history of the defendants the threat to kill must be taken more seriously.”She said that the first defendant, Art Forbes who now lived at Sea View, Tullaghan, Co. Leitrim, should have had more sense especially in light of his previous convictions and his release under the terms of the Good Friday agreement.In his case she warned him that she would “adjourn the matter of sentencing for 12 months,” adding, “You could be sent to prison for two years.”If defendant remained out of trouble in that time, she would “make certain recommendations” which his solicitor would explain. He was remanded on continuing bail to appear before Ballyshannon District Court on March 2nd, 2012.Raymond Forbes, whose address was given as Tarmon Manor, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, was ordered to make a €500 charitable donation to the RNLI before March 18th next.RELEASED REPUBLICAN PRISONER THREATENED TO SHOOT NIGHTCLUB BOUNCER was last modified: March 8th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)