Two drown in Mazaruni after bandits boat capsize, three Brazilians shot

A suspected bandit and a hostage drowned in the Mazaruni after a getaway boat capsized following a stunning raid by an armed gang against a Puruni mining camp during which three Brazilians were shot and several other persons robbed and beaten.

The police this afternoon issued a release on the attack, almost two days after it occurred in an area already nervy about mounting raids and murders fuelled by the high price of gold. The police provided no explanation for the late release of the information.

In the statement, police said that they are investigating an armed robbery that occurred at about 1900h. on Sunday at Piari Landing, Puruni, during which a group of eight men armed with handguns “stormed the landing firing shots indiscriminately and wounding three persons in the process.

“As the armed men approached a number of shop owners and other persons fled into the bushes, however eight persons were robbed of cash, raw gold and jewellery, three of whom were shot and injured. The perpetrators escaped in a boat that they had stolen from Piari Landing.

“Brazilian shopkeeper Joao De Freitas  Mattos was shot to his right leg and robbed of $60,000.00 and is admitted at the Bartica Hospital; Brazilian shopkeeper Benedito Docerado Oliveira, 56 years, was shot to his right hip and robbed of $1/2M and a quantity of raw gold and was  treated at the Bartica Hospital; Brazilian Francisco Da Cruz Morias, 44 years, was shot to his right thigh and left foot and robbed of $140,000.00 and was treated  at the Bartica Hospital; Brazilian Joao Da Conceicao, 56 years, was robbed of $30,000.00; Brazilian Mario Odessa Da Silva was robbed of jewellery and $1/2M; Curtis Bannette, 34 years, was robbed of $110,000.00 and a cell phone; and David Coates and Carlton Small, who were beaten about the body, were treated at the Bartica Hospital and sent away.

“Two men who claimed that they were abducted and held hostage by the armed men as they were escaping have been found by the police and are assisting with the investigations.”

Police said that a number of spent shells of varying caliber have been recovered as the investigations continue.

The latest attack will increase the pressure on the police to explain why they were caught unawares by it. The mining community has long complained about poor security in the interior.

The police then issued another press release which referred to the drowning.

“Further to press release made earlier in relation to the armed robbery on Sunday October 02, 2011, at Piara Landing, Puruni, today a team of police ranks acting on information received went into another area in the Mazaruni where they arrested three suspects and recovered an Uzi Sub-Machine gun and a handgun.

“They also recovered the bodies of two persons who appeared to have drowned. One is that of a suspect while the other is that of a man … who was taken hostage by the perpetrators to drive the getaway boat.

“Information received revealed that while the boat was travelling along the Mazaruni River it overturned and several persons may have drowned. No sign was seen of the boat that was stolen by the armed men.

“The police are still in the area pursuing three other suspects and another man who is suspected of having transported the armed men to the Piara Landing had been earlier arrested at Piara and taken into custody.”

The latest attack will increase the pressure on the police to explain why they were caught unawares by it. The mining community has long complained about poor security in the interior.

 

 

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