A speedboat owned by a Government Minister is operating the Parika-Bartica route without the necessary approval and authorisation.The Bartica-bound boat loaded with passengers at Parika, East Bank EssequiboThis is according to President of the Bartica Speedboat Association, Stephen Belle, who told Guyana Times on Tuesday that the issue was brought to his attention by a Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) officer on Tuesday.Belle stated that while at Parika and loading passengers, an official from MARAD had to intervene after the captain and bowman were involved in an incident. It was then that documents were requested for the boat and the captain referred MARAD officials to the Minister (name provided). This newspaper was told that the incident was reported to MARAD’s head office in Georgetown.“After the monitor spoke to the guy he continued to load the boat without adhering to the instructions by the maritime officer saying that she can tell who she wants and do what she has to do. Nobody can’t touch this. This is the Minister’s boat,” Belle stated.Bartica Speedboat Association President, Stephen BelleAccording to the President of the BSA, there have been many unprincipled practices and instances which have been occurring and ignored by MARAD and other relevant authorities.The BSA President had claimed that there was an instance earlier in 2018 where one boat was given a turn in the system without the Association’s approval or any application being filed.He had also stated that MARAD’s Director General, Claudette Rogers, had said that the boat was owned by an oil company, but it was later discovered that the owner of the boat was linked to a senior Government official.Belle had said that the boat was placed in the system by MARAD without any consultations or approval from the Association.“We are very much concerned about what is happening and it seems as though nobody cares and [there is] nothing to be done…,” the President had expressed.Belle had also told Guyana Times that there are a number of boats operating without the legal requirements being met and that despite several reports being made, MARAD has failed to enforce the regulations on those guilty of breaking the laws and other relevant authorities have continued to ignore this.“Every day there are boats that are loading back and forth without licences under the watchful eyes of the Maritime officials at Parika. Reports were made to the police and to the Minister, the Director [of] Maritime Safety, Harbour Master and nobody seems to care, nobody seems to be doing anything about it,” Belle had explained.