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Bartica massacre suspect held

Stolen vaults, rifle recovered

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 

Police have arrested another man fingered in the February 17 Bartica massacre and have recovered two metal vaults and a brief case containing documents which were identified as belonging to the CB&R mining company which was robbed on the night of the killings.
A police press release last night did not state where the suspect was arrested or the vaults found.

Another police release which came at the same time however revealed that the rifle had been recovered during Monday’s confrontation in Buxton which the Joint Services had not officially commented on until last night.

The vaults stolen from Bartica

The release said that an operation in the Buxton Backlands between Sideline Dam and Middle Walk Dam on Monday resulted in the discovery of a .30 Carbine (rifle),  238 7.62×39 rounds, 76 .30 rounds,    2 spent 7.62×39 shells,   2 magazines  for the .30 Carbine, 1 AK 47 magazine,  1 Fragmentation grenade,  1 Bible, 4 camouflage hammocks,  1 machete, 1 blue tarpaulin, 2 black backpacks, 2 knapsacks,  2 pairs of boots, 2 pairs of rubber slippers, 1 toque, 1 tin CRC, 2 jars peanut butter,  2 bed sheets,  5 pants,   7 jerseys,  2 black leather belts,  1 duffle bag,  2 pairs of yellow and green slippers,   2 cellular phones (Motorola and Nokia), 1 small bottle iodine, 13 pain killing tablets, 1 large bottle baby oil,  3  toothbrushes, 1  toothbrush case, 3 tubes Colgate toothpaste,    2 bottles deodorant.

The release further stated that investigations revealed that the weapon found is one stolen from the Bartica police station on the night of February 17.

According to the release a Joint Services patrol was operating in the Backlands when they were shot at by persons unknown. The ranks took cover and returned fire but it is not clear if any of the gunmen sustained any injuries. A subsequent search of the area resulted in the above mentioned items being found.

Police officers had also ventured to the Aranka Landing in the Cuyuni River to investigate the shooting of two men, who were transferred to the GPHC from the Bartica Hospital.  Reports reaching this newspaper are that one of the men was wanted by the police regarding his connections to a “Buxton gang.” The man was arrested and under police guard at the hospital.

Two men have been charged so far with the Bartica killings. Roger Simon, a 44-year-old miner and father of nine who is a resident of the community, was the first person charged for the 12 murders in the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on April 9. Seven weeks after he was charged, Clebert Reece called ‘Chi-chi’ of Lot 63 Barr Street, Albouystown, a 30-year-old miner who works in the Cuyuni area, was also charged with the murder of the 12 persons on February 17.

Meanwhile a number of persons have been charged for their association with the ‘Fineman gang’ whom the authorities believe is responsible for the Lusignan, Bartica and Lindo creek massacres.

The items recovered by the police 

(Police photos)

 

Around 9.45 on the night of February 17 an estimated 15-20 gunmen rampaged through Bartica. Reports were that three of the men were left to guard the river while more than ten others assaulted the community in the hour-long attack. The police outpost was first attacked and three officers were killed while two others were seriously wounded. The gang of gunmen carted off several firearms and ammunition from two strongboxes at the outpost.

The gunmen then descended upon the CBR Mining Company, further up First Avenue and shot 72-year-old security guard, Irving Ferreira even as he attempted to flee. Once inside the building, the gunmen broke into a safe and removed 11 guns: six shotguns and five .32 pistols and a quantity of ammunition. Police said that the gunmen also took away two safes containing gold, jewellery and cash.

The other persons killed in the attack were Bartica residents Edwin Gilkes and Dexter Adrian; policemen stationed at the Bartica Police Station – Lance Corporal Zaheer Zakir and Constables Shane Fredericks, Ron Osborne and Deonarine Singh who was from Wakenaam; Ronald Gomes of Kuru Kururu, Ashraf Khan of Middlesex Essequibo, Abdool Yasin, Errol Thomas of Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo and Baldeo Singh of Montrose East Coast Demerara were shot execution style at the Transport and Harbours Stelling.

After their deadly strike at the mining company, the bandits turned their attention to the home of a businessman and broke into the heavily-grilled home of Gurudat Singh, a gold dealer of First Avenue, a short distance away from the company. Firing their weapons and then using a sledge-hammer, they broke a window and knocked out part of a concrete grill to gain access to the home. Singh said that the gunmen took away two attaché cases.

On March 7 the joint services had issued a statement revealing that they had unearthed one of the 11 12-gauge shotguns that had been stolen from CBR owner Chunilall Baboolall abandoned in a camp at Bucktown, Wismar, Linden. The lawmen had also retrieved Baboolall’s Guyana passport and his National Insurance Scheme card. The documents were found along with a quantity of eating utensils, a searchlight, a green tarpaulin; a hacksaw blade, and an empty plastic water container, among other articles.