MYSTERY OBJECT: The ‘test cell’.
MYSTERY OBJECT: The ‘test cell’.

Ruthven man on fraud charge over $500,000 device

A 48-YEAR-OLD Ruthven man has been charged with fraud after a mystery ‘test cell’ worth more than $500,000 and weighing 13 tonnes was seized near Coraki.

Police have been vague about the details of the unit. They described it as a unit used to ‘test regenerative energy’, but declined to say what company owned the device.

Permo-Drive Technologies in Lismore, which has been developing a fuel-saving technology for heavy vehicles called a ‘regenerative drive system’, would not say whether the unit belonged to them.

When asked about the case, Permo-Drive chairman Trevor Dunn would only say: “I don’t know anything about it. It’s with the police.”

It is alleged the test cell, which was housed in a 12-metre shipping container, was moved from its original location to a location at Ruthven, near Coraki. It was then allegedly moved to different address at Ruthven, in Coraki Road.

Police executed a search warrant at the address just after 9am on January 25.

The unit was seized and later removed with the assistance of a heavy vehicle and crane.

Police are also seeking information relating to various electrical and office equipment belonging to the same company, which has been reported missing from an address at Casino after being transported there in August last year.

The equipment included photocopiers, computers, laptops, phones, whiteboards and a vacuum cleaner.

Anyone with any information in relation to the incidents is asked to contact Lismore Police on 6626 0599.


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