Police still pursuing fourth Bartica robbery suspect

Police are still in pursuit of an accomplice of the trio of bandits killed during a shootout at the Arimu Backdam, Cuyuni, on Saturday.

A senior officer told Stabroek News that contrary to reports carried widely by the press, including this newspaper, police are still in the area searching for the fourth man. The officer also refuted a report that the man had been killed.

He said police ranks were still in the area searching for the man, who was part of the gang of men who ambushed police during an early morning operation. The men are believed to have been responsible for a spate of gun crimes in the township.

Dwayne Marks called ‘Bully’, 25, of Bartica; Antwan Singh called ‘Deportee’, 35, of Linden and Gavin Gray called ‘Sweet Eyes’, 27, of Bartica, were all shot dead after they engaged with a joint services patrol, which was responding to a report of an armed robbery at the backdam. Two .38 revolvers along with eight rounds and one .32 pistol with six matching rounds were recovered from the dead gunmen. An ATV stolen from a Brazilian miner who had been attacked days earlier was recovered. A policeman, identified as Lance Corporal Isaacs, sustained a gunshot injury to his right forearm, when the patrol came under fire. The bulletproof vest he was wearing protected him from any further injury.

Marks has been identified by the police as the mastermind behind criminal attacks in the community that led to a call by Regional Chairman Holbert Knights for increased and active law enforcement at Bartica. He was recently before the courts on a charge of discharging a loaded firearm and simple larceny and was out on bail.

The police and army have been on alert in the township in wake of the recent spate of armed robberies. Police had said a “three-man gang” was responsible.

Meanwhile, the senior officer yesterday said that so far police have not established a link between the Marks’ gang and other men who were recently charged with an armed robbery in Bartica.

Last Friday, two men were charged with robbery-under-arms for a daring gunpoint robbery of a Bartica gold dealer, in which $1.8M and a quantity of gold was taken. According to police, the men, Orin David, 24, of First Alley, Wismar and Marlon Hicks, 30 of Hadfield Street, George-town, were remanded for robbery under arms committed on Suraj Hansraj, of West Indian Housing Scheme, Bartica. The police said the men were arrested as a result of investigations into a series of recent armed robberies committed on residents of Bartica.

Hicks, meanwhile, is an alias for Simora Williams. According to Marcia Smith, the man has been using her family name and giving their address as his, although he is not a member of the family. Smith, who lives at the address the police listed as being Hicks’, explained that her mother had once been the man’s guardian but he eventually left her and was living in Bartica. However, he continues to identify himself as Hicks and give her family’s Hadfield Street address as his own, much to their discomfort.

Smith also said that Williams is in fact 35 years old and not 30 as stated by police.

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