Ukrainian guards charged, remanded over threats, assault on Guyanese

Two Ukrainian nationals, who were allegedly seen threatening and assaulting a Guyanese in videos shared on social media, were today both charged and remanded to prison.

Separate charges were read to the two men, Vitaly Paraschuck, 38, and Maksym Furtak, 33, who are both employed as security officers by West Bank Demerara Gold Incorporated. Both of the men have been working at the company through work permits which were granted to them in 2011.

Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, before whom the men were arraigned in Georgetown, remanded them to prison, while stating that they had not shown sufficient ties to Guyana and were deemed flight risks.

Charles Clarke

Paraschuck faces three charges, with the most serious being the alleged unlawful assault on Charles Clarke, causing him actual bodily harm, on August 3rd at Quartzstone backdam, Cuyuni.

It was further alleged that Paraschuck on the same date and at the same place threatened Clarke, whereby a breach of the peace may have been occasioned.

Additionally, Paraschuck was charged with failing to wear his uniform while on duty while being employed as a camp coordinator and security officer by the West Bank Demerara Gold Incorporated.

Police prosecutor Gordon Mansfield told the court that following an argument with Clarke, Paraschuck dealt him a cuff to his face and pointed a firearm in his face in a threatening manner.

But Paraschuck, through a translator, denied all the charges. His attorney, Keoma Griffith, in an application for reasonable bail, noted that the man was previously released on station bail.

Griffith stated that his client was not a flight risk as the company he works for has decided to keep him stationed in Georgetown until the completion of the proceedings against him. He also stated that Paraschuck’s passport has been with police since he turned himself over to them. Griffith further stated that the prosecution has not proved that his client would be a flight risk if he were granted bail.

Mansfield, who noted that Paraschuck was licensed to carry a firearm through the security firm that he works for, objected to bail being granted, while contending that Paraschuck is a flight risk and had not shown sufficient ties to the jurisdiction. He further stated that there is no evidence of a local address for the defendant, no evidence that his passport is in the custody of police and while the allegations seemed trivial there was a possibility that it could have been more serious.

As a result, the magistrate refused bail and remanded Paraschuck to prison until August 23rd, when the matters will be heard at the Bartica Magistrate’s Court.

Furtak, meanwhile, was faced with two charges.

It was alleged that Furtak on August 3rd, at Quartzstone, Cuyuni, made use of threatening behaviour to Rudolph Deane

He too was charged with failing to wear his uniform while on duty as a security officer for West Bank Demerara Gold Incorporated.

Furtak denied the allegations.

Griffith also appeared for Furtak and noted that he too was also released on station bail. Griffith provided the court with a local address for Furtak and stated that he too is not a flight risk.

But Mansfield again objected to bail being granted, while stating that Furtak may be a flight risk and had not shown sufficient ties to Guyana.

He too was remanded and given August 23rd as the date of his next hearing, which will be held at the Bartica Magistrate’s Court.

Clarke, 33, of Blueberry Hill, Wismar, Linden, was also charged with failing to wear his uniform on August 3rd at Quartzstone Backdam, Cuyuni while being employed by the Hopkinson Security Service. The prosecutor made no objection to him being released on bail. He was placed on $20,000 bail and the matter was also adjourned until August 23rd, when it is to be heard at Bartica.

The two men were arrested after police followed up on the incident, which was documented in two videos that were posted on social media showing an employee of the Hopkinson Mining and Logistics Company communicating with one of the foreigners.

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