Remaining wanted men prepared to surrender
-joint services told
June 16, 2003
The joint services have received information that the remaining wanted men, two of whom were reportedly seen recently in Buxton, are willing to surrender once they are assured of a just trial.
This, according to Staff Sergeant Stanford Conway of the GDF, is due to the intensified joint services operations in and around the criminals’ hideouts which have seen a number of them being killed during confrontations in recent weeks.
On June 4, six men including notorious wanted man Romel Reman, were shot dead in Friendship during a shoot-out with a police/army contingent. On the following day, prison escapee Shawn Brown; his brother-in-law, Dillon George, who was freed of a murder case a month ago and Toney Singh were cornered in a house in Prashad Nagar and were killed after they had opened fire on a party of policemen.
Conway said the remaining wanted men were now feeling the squeeze since one of their main hideouts, Buxton, has been virtually flushed free of criminal elements.
The Guyana Police Force last week re-issued wanted bulletins for six men who they say are wanted for a series of robberies, murders and kidnappings and are said to be armed and extremely dangerous. The police also called on them to surrender.
One of the six men, Ivor Glenn, heeded the call on Saturday and surrendered to the police in the company of attorney, Nigel Hughes and Prime News editor, Adam Harris. The other men on the run are, the last of the five February 23, 2002 prison escapees, Troy Dick, Paul Pindleton also called `Serra man’, Rondell Wilmot Rawlins called `Fineman’, Anthony Charles called `Kussum’ and Michael Anthony Sandiford called `Rasta man’ and `Mo Fire’
The police have since welcomed the move by Glen and renewed a call for the other wanted men to turn themselves in.
During a telephone interview with this newspaper yesterday, Conway said the joint services operation’s “tempo” which is aimed at restoring the country to normalcy after months of bloodshed has not lost its intensity. He said nothing has changed, noting the ranks continue to conduct searches and carry out patrols among other operational duties.
With regards to Buxton where most of the wanted men had been hiding, he said there was still an element of fear in the air. Stabroek News was told that a number of men who had fled the village earlier in the crime spree due to their allegiance to rival gangs have since returned to the village. This newspaper learnt that the men, who were seen riding scooters and driving expensive cars, have threatened villagers who were known to have had connections with some of the wanted men who are now dead.
The GDF has since taken note of the situation and has been monitoring reports from residents. Asked how he would describe the situation in Buxton at present, Conway said, “it is logical to say that criminals are no longer hiding out in the village.”
He however cautioned that residents reported that two of the six wanted men were seen in the village. When the joint services responded the men could not be found.
Conway said the GDF was now looking at ways of mending its relationship with the residents of Buxton, noting that since the recent operations the police have been able to carry out patrols in the village without the army’s protection and have not received any threats or suffered aggression from residents. On the issue of the criminals taking up new camps along the East Coast, Conway said the army was in receipt of such information, but could not operate on hearsay. He said the GDF depends on its intelligence to feed it with certain information and if indeed that was the case they would have already moved in on whichever village it was. Like the GPF, Conway said the GDF is calling on the criminals to give themselves up, saying that this would minimise any possible armed confrontation with them and the joint services.
Conway also told this newspaper that the army had observed that a few villages on the East Coast had blocked sections of the Railway Embankment during the crime spree. He said the soldiers would soon remove the encumbrances and also repair two breaches on the East Coast corridor in the vicinity of Paradise.
“Our aim is to restore normalcy to life on the East Coast, make its corridor free of obstacles and clear to vehicular traffic and conducive to commerce.”
Ever since Buxton became a criminal camp some of the main utility companies have not been able to carry out their duties in the village. As a result some residents have stopped paying electricity and water tariffs. Also, two foreign engineers working on a contract with the Guyana Water Incorporated were kidnapped and later released after a ransom was paid. Consequently, work on a water project in the village was stopped but it has resumed recently. Conway told Stabroek News that if any utility company has qualms about entering the village it should make a request to the police for security.