Brazilian gang raiding Suriname hinterland

(de Ware Tijd) BENZDORP ─ A criminal Brazilian gang is raiding the hinterland aiming their criminal activities at Chinese shopkeepers. So far, 18 shops have been robbed multiple times. Yesterday a firefight ensued between the gang and the police’s Anti Terror Unit (ATE). ‘Chinese shop keepers in southern Suriname have been targeted by armed Brazilians for some time. We can’t allow this to go on,’ says concession licensee Amoefienie Fanta to de Ware Tijd. More than fifty shells were found near the place where the gang fired shots in the air to prevent being chased by the police. Eye-witnesses claim the masked gang entered the settlement near Maripa Sula around eight in the morning armed with machine guns, robbing Chinese shops of money and gold. They fired shots in all directions piercing many roofs. Fortunately, there were no casualties. The ATE Unit at Benzdorp was alerted at once. When the police arrived at the scene, a firefight ensued. The police now assume, from evidence found, that at least two gang members have been wounded. No details have been issued, so far. Fanta says that there are 18 shopkeepers on his concession. Last year a shopkeeper was wounded in the leg during a robbery. Fanta thinks that the Brazilians mainly target Chinese. They have dug holes to the shops only to steal. The licensee is convinced the men fled through the forest from French Guiana due to strict patrols by the French. Last week Saturday shots were fired in the forest so Fanta alerted the police. Their quick response Sunday morning drove the criminals away. In the past, Fanta could not get help in Paramaribo in conflicts with illegal Brazilians on his concession. ‘It seems that someone on Justice keeps a hand over these Brazilians’ head,’ the licensee says accusingly.-.

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