Puruni $15M gold heist accused remanded

One of the two men fingered in the $15M Puruni Backdam, Essequibo gold robbery was yesterday remanded to prison after appearing before Magistrate Fazil Azeez at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.

It is alleged that on October 30 at Puruni Backdam, Essequibo, John Wills, being armed with a gun, robbed William Muffette of 63 ounces and nine pennyweight of raw gold valued in excess of $15.3M, property of Royston Banks.

John Wills

The accused was not required to plead to the indictable charge of robbery under arms when it was read to him by the magistrate.
Prosecutor Lionel Harvey told the court that Gregory Miller, the other accused with whom Wills is jointly charged is still at large. An arrest warrant has been issued for him. Harvey made an application that Wills be remanded to prison because of the seriousness, prevalence and quantum of the articles stolen.

The prosecution’s request was granted and the unrepresented Miller was later remanded to prison. His matter was transferred to the Bartica Magistrate’s Court for December 1.

Commissioner of Police E&F Division, Assistant Commissioner David Ramnarine told Stabroek News that the robbery occurred sometime between 9 and 9.30 am on Saturday.

Three gunmen, according to him, attacked and raided the mining camp.
At the time of the attack the camp’s General Manager and two other employees were present. During the attack, Ramnarine said, the manager was assaulted by the men.  Ramnarine said, the men discharged shots which sent other employees present a short distance away scampering.

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