Rampaging gang robbing mining camps in Cuyuni-Mazaruni

Police in the interior are on the hunt for a gang of men robbing mining camps in Kartuni, Cuyuni River.

Police Commander of ‘F’ Division, Senior Superintendent Ravindradat Budhram yesterday told Stabroek News that a party of policemen had been deployed to the Cuyuni-Mazaruni area to begin investigations.

However, he explained that the officers who had departed since Monday were unable to venture into the backlands immediately since they did not have any vehicles. He said that because of persistent rains the roads leading to the backlands are in a deplorable condition, but yesterday morning the ranks had begun the journey into the area on foot.

The police commander told Stabroek News that while no official report had been made to the police, last Friday they received information of the gang robbing camps in the Kartuni mining district and a decision was made to deploy ranks to investigate.  He said that it is unclear how many camps were robbed or the value of items which had been stolen during the raids.

Gold miner Mohammed Sharief, of Sharief’s Mining yesterday told this newspaper that his camp had been attacked by the gang of men. He explained that from the information he had gathered his staff were brutally beaten and robbed. The gold miner said the bandits, “beat my guys very bad, but we cannot get communication with them, because we have no communication.” He added that from all indications,  it appears as if they had destroyed “our internet service because they did that with other camps and our radio set is apparently down as well… we are just hoping that we would  hear from them.”

Sharief said that the bandits have attacked six other camps in the Region Seven area, and they speak fluent “Spanish and Portuguese, but the other one is not saying anything and it is suspected he is a Guyanese who is showing them around.”

Based on the miner’s recount, his camp was hit the worst, and they are trying to get a helicopter to fly overhead and assist the police with the capture of the men. “The police are saying that the GDF (Guyana Defence Force) helicopter is with the Joint Services right now, searching for the prison escapees and they can’t really access it,” he lamented.

However, Budhram said  that they are making provisions to have a helicopter sent into the area to help the ranks in their investigations.

Sharief told Stabroek News that when the police arrived by boat at the Junior Ross landing they were stranded as vehicles that would have been used to transport the police into the backlands, had been hijacked by the gang, forcing them to overnight at a nearby mine.

The miner went on to say that the situation has gotten out of control as the men are attacking one camp after the other. He said he is fearful that the men will venture into the Puruni mining district, and carry out further attacks if they are not apprehended.


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