Police commander says no sign of Sindicatos in recent attack

Amidst concerns among miners of the presence of “Sindicatos” gangs operating in the Cuyuni River, Divisional Commander Kevin Adonis says that the Guyana Police Force has not found any evidence of such in a recent reported attack on a mining camp and questioned the motives of the miners.

“I have seen miners mining on both sides of the countries’ borders with persons travelling back and forth but nobody can say who are a part of this gang they are calling the Sindicatos,” the commander told Stabroek News yesterday.

Adonis’ comments come in the wake of President of the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) Urica Primus’s recent expression of hope that that the resuscitated Hinterland Intelligence Committee can put measures in place to protect miners against the Sindicatos gangs reported to be operating in Guyana.  The Sindicatos are believed to be coming from Venezuela.

The comments by Primus came following a recent attack in the Cuyuni which has been pinned on the Sindicatos.

Adonis in response said that while there have been reports and assertions that the Sindicatos gang is responsible for the raid on Wednesday on the Baboon Backdam camp owned by Mohammed’s Enterprise, the police has seen no evidence to suggest this.

The police’s own press release on May 18 had said that they were investigating an armed robbery committed on a mining camp located at the Baboon Backdam, Cuyuni River on Wednesday between 19:00-00:00 hrs. The attack, it said, was carried out by four masked males armed with a rifle and shotguns. They were reportedly outfitted in dark coloured clothing and spoke a foreign language, the police added.

A quantity of raw gold and other valuables including a licensed shotgun were carted off by the perpetrators. None of the twenty- eight employees of the mining company was injured. The scene was visited by a team comprising ranks of the Joint Services.

Adonis explained yesterday that only recently he and a team visited the area, which is close to the Venezuelan border, but he did not observe any illegal activities or see any suspicious camp operating in the areas identified by the miners.

This led him to conclude that among the miners are persons who have “criminal intent.”

Touching on the security concerns, Adonis informed that on Guyana’s border there are patrols with the police, coast guards and the army, which he also observed while he was in the area.

On Wednesday, the Guyana Defence Force issued a release which said: “The Chief of Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, along with a team of officers from the Guyana Defence Force, on May 3rd 2018, delivered a presentation to Members of Parliament on the conduct of Operation Armadillo, an ongoing operation, which was launched by the GDF on Feb 16th 2018, following allegations of criminal enterprise on our western border by members of a foreign criminal gang known as the “Sindicatos.”

“Subsequent to the presentation, an interactive session between Members of Parliament and the GDF Team was chaired by the Speaker of the House. This was done in an effort to clarify any issues pertaining to the presentation and the operational posture of the Force. On conclusion, the Hon. Dr. Barton Scotland thanked the Chief of Staff and team for appearing before the House”.

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