Bandits raid Cuyuni camp, cart off $13m in gold

Gun-toting and masked bandits last Wednesday invaded a mining camp operated by Chinese nationals and robbed employees of 50 ounces of raw gold valued at some $13M. A security guard was shot in his hand during the attack.

The mining camp, China High Tech is operated and owned by Chinese national Sue Zee Rong.

Information reaching Stabroek News revealed that on Wednesday at around 12:45 pm, four bandits speaking Portuguese, broken English and Spanish pounced on the camp at Black Water, Backdam Cuyuni River.

At the time of the attack, the General Manager Rong and Stephen Hall, a security guard of Marks Interior Communication were overlooking the production.  Hall was unarmed while his colleague, Jason Critchlow who was armed with a 12-gauge shotgun had gone to the kitchen.

As he was returning, the four armed, masked men emerged from the western direction from nearby bushes alongside the road, held him at gunpoint and instructed him to drop his firearm. Critchlow, police said, complied with the command.

The bandits took possession of his firearm and two remained on the path with him while the two others ran toward the office and open fire at the workers. At this stage, Hall in his bid to escape bullets was shot in his left middle finger. The bandits then gathered the workers in the office  and instructed one of the workers to burn the raw gold while they stood guard.

Not long after the men began to search the office and found a rifle in a strong box and took possession of it along with other valuables. After successfully collecting the valuables from the mining camp, the gunmen made good their escape.

The camp was attacked hours after a washdown for gold. Police said the gunmen carted off  US$500, two GPS’s, six matching cartridges and one AR rifle with eight matching rounds, property of Marks Interior Communication.

Later in the day, Hall was air-dashed to the city in a charted chopper for medical attention

Five 12-gauge shells and one. 223 shell was retrieved from the scene when police visited.

No arrest has been made to date.

Only a few weeks ago, over two dozen workers of a mining camp at Baboon Backdam, Cuyuni River, were robbed.

The Guyana Police Force said the attack was carried out between 7 pm and 12 am by four masked men armed with a rifle and shotguns. A quantity of raw gold and other valuables, including a licensed shotgun, were carted off. 

Miners have said that Venezuela-based gunmen – the so-called syndicatos are responsible – the police have had a different version.

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