Berbice police yesterday launched a manhunt for Camp Street Prison escapee, Stafrei Hopkinson Alexander in the Port Mourant backlands on the Corentyne.
According to Commander of B Division, Ian Amsterdam, investigators received reliable information that Alexander, who is wanted for escaping lawful custody and murder, was spotted in the Port Mourant area. As of late yesterday afternoon, police were in the backlands carrying out the search. However, last night, Amsterdam confirmed to Stabroek News that the team of police had since returned from the area empty-handed.
Amsterdam said, “We are now going back to the drawing board with the map of the area.” He also stressed that other searches will be executed at the earliest opportunity since they have information that the escapee may indeed be hiding in the area.
The B Division Commander is asking Berbicians to report any sightings of the escapees, stating that, “Any information would be treated with the strictest confidence.” Amsterdam also noted that he wished to remind the public that harbouring a criminal is a serious offence, and as such, any persons found doing so, will be arrested and prosecuted.
Meanwhile, according to a senior police source, they have received information that the escapee knows the backlands very well. The source further relayed that on Tuesday morning, there was a discharge of rounds in the Port Mourant area by the police. However, the source stressed that at no point did the police engage the escapee in a shootout.
On Tuesday four men from the Port Mourant communities of Babu John and Ankerville, and Rose Hall Town were placed in custody after the police received information that they might have come into contact with the prison escapee, or possibly have information as to where he was hiding out.
This newspaper was told that one of the persons in custody is a 19-year-old lad who is at present out on bail for allegedly robbing a Corentyne business earlier in the year. The source said that his mother, who resides at Ankerville, Port Mourant has since been held for questioning as well.
According to the woman’s husband, Sookdeo Singh, on Tuesday afternoon, police carried out a search on his premises, and also in the abandoned houses in his neighbourhood, as well as, his farm land.
Singh said, “Them kick down the [farm] gate and go in and search all over. One good time them deh all about a search,” the man said. He says that he has no idea why his son and his wife have been placed in custody. He observed, “Them police just say them investigating. Them na say what them investigating exactly.”
When Stabroek News visited the Port Mourant area yesterday, police were seen patrolling the area in vehicles and on foot. Meanwhile, B Division has strengthened its patrols throughout the county. Police were seen patrolling New Forest, and other Canje areas, and along the Corentyne coast. The police’s helicopter was also seen flying over the county several times yesterday.