Two cops held over killing of Brazilian miner at Puruni

Estevão Costa Marques

Two policemen have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Brazilian miner in the Puruni District, Cuyuni/Mazaruni on Saturday.

The deceased miner has been identified as Estevão Costa Marques 37, of Pinheiro, Maranhão, Brazil.

The police force is awaiting additional information from investigators before commenting further on the matter. It is the latest blow to a force that has been reeling from a series of incidents ensnaring police in serious crimes.

The corpse being received at the Parika Stelling yesterday.

A statement by the Force yesterday said that a  Subordinate Officer and a Constable are in custody assisting with investigations.

Initial investigations have revealed that the two policemen arrived at the Puruni Landing “around midday on Saturday. The Subordinate Officer claimed that he remained in the boat while the Constable armed with the rifle, exited and proceeded to a shop and shortly after two loud explosions were heard which caused him (the Subordinate Officer) to proceed to make enquiries.”

Upon enquiring, the police say that the Subordinate Officer saw the body of the Brazilian miner lying on the ground and was given an explanation by the constable. “The Constable told him that a male [Estevão Costa Marques] discharged a round at him and he returned fire,” the police statement explained.

The statement went on to add that the body was later picked up and placed in a boat and taken to the main landing.

It was further stated that two other members of the force, a Subordinate Officer and a Detective Constable of the Bartica Police Station, who were in the said area on duty investigating a report of alleged threats, arrived at the scene and took away the firearm which was in the possession of the Constable and alerted the Divisional Commander, Kelvin Adonis.

According to the statement issued, the two cops  who are now subjects of the investigation  are stationed at the Kurupung Police Station. It was discovered that they “abandoned the Station sometime on Friday morning, leaving on an ATV for patrol duties, armed with a .30 Carbine Rifle and subsequently joined a boat and proceeded to a Landing along the Puruni River.”

A Gazetted Officer and a team of detectives were dispatched to the location last evening to investigate. Arrangements are in place for another Subordinate Officer and three Constables to be dispatched to Kurupung Police Station and this process was to be completed last evening, the statement added.

A video circulating on social media platform, Facebook showed the miner’s inconsolable mother after she received news on the death of her son. The woman fell in and out of consciousness and had to be supported by persons from the camp.

The body is currently at the Memorial Gardens Mortuary awaiting an autopsy. 

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