Guyana: Foreign guards involved in mining incident are Ukrainians

By Guyana Chronicle

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The guards during the tussle with the local miner.

(GUYANA CHRONICLE) – Officials of the Russian embassy in Georgetown have confirmed that the foreign security guards who were involved in an altercation with local miners in the Cuyuni/Mazaruni in April this year are holders of Ukrainian passports.

The Guyana Chronicle contacted the Russian embassy on Pere Street,Kitty earlier this week for a comment on the incident which is under investigation by the authorities.

On Thursday an official of the embassy noted that the foreign office has been closely following the issue.He said that checks have confirmed that the men are of Ukrainian nationality.

A police source noted too that the men may be Ukrainians employed with the Russian-owned company,West Bank Demerara Gold Inc.

THE two guards at the center of allegations that they tortured two Guyanese miners have been arrested and police said they were in breach of their uniform dress code since, as supernumerary constables, they ought to have been attired in the prescribed manner approved by the force’s administration for that company, and not as seen outfitted in the video.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, police said a thorough investigation has been launched into the incident. As such, a police investigative team from CID Headquarters received much-needed assistance from a miner who ferried the ranks to Quart Stone, Cuyuni, where the incident allegedly occurred.

On Wednesday the National Mining Syndicate called on the authorities to address the issue with a view of ensuring justice prevails in the interest of the local miners. The body said the incident brings to the fore the need for dialog between key agencies and expatriates who seek to do business in Guyana either individually or as a company.

Police said the two foreign nationals in question, one of whom allegedly assaulted a ranger employed in a private capacity, are in custody and assisting with the investigation. The two Russian nationals who are employed by West Bank Demerara Gold Inc., which is licensed to operate in Guyana, are sworn supernumerary constables and authorised to carry firearms.

Reports are that the miners were executing their normal duties on their employers’ claim operated by Hopkinson Mining Logistics, a company which is owned by Guyanese large-scale miner Shawn Hopkinson in Quart Stone, near the Quart Stone River in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).

They were intercepted by the two foreign operatives of West Bank Demerara Gold Inc. Reports are that the guards attempted to prohibit the Guyanese miners from going farther on the said land when the incident occurred.

On Monday, the Ministry of Natural Resources ordered an immediate investigation into the assault on the miners.

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