Suspect held, charges likely in Barama dredge murder
Police have detained a suspect in last month’s attack on a Barama mining dredge that left manager, Regerton Simon, dead and his colleague Malvin Edwards badly wounded.
Kaieteur News understands that the suspect was detained a few days ago and is to be brought to the city for further questioning.
Confirming the arrest, a police official told Kaieteur News yesterday that the suspect is from the North West District and that charges appear likely.
The official said that the suspect has provided police with a statement but declined to say whether the statement revealed the motive for the attack.
But he disclosed that investigators have established that the attack was not carried out because of mining pollution, as was initially suspected.
He declined to comment on another report which suggested that the marijuana farmers may have orchestrated the shooting to get the dredge operators out of the area.
Regerton Simon, called ‘Baba’ of Lot ‘P’ 73 Guyhoc Park, died after he was shot in the chest by the occupants of a passing boat on September 5.
Malvin Edwards, a 33-year-old welder of East La Penitence Squatting Area, was shot in the chest, head and right arm. A shotgun was used in the attack.
Four other workers, said to be Brazilians and including a female cook, escaped unhurt. Police had stated that nothing was stolen.
Persons in the area recounted seeing two men in a boat with a 36-horsepower engine pass the dredge shortly before hearing bursts of gunfire.
The survivors had reported seeing the same men pass some hours earlier before the shooting occurred.
The dredge is operated by Bartica gold miner Morris Hopkinson.
In an interview with Kaieteur News, Hopkinson said that he had moved his dredge further up the Barama River some months ago after some residents expressed concern about pollution.
But he stated that he is using a new type of dredge that does not pollute the waters.