Feb 24, 2009 News Comments Off on Police deny fourth Bartica bandit captured, slain
Police officials yesterday refuted media reports that Lorenzo De Freitas, the fourth bandit from the Bartica gang, had been captured or killed.
Police said that the reports appear to be based on rumours that are circulating around the community.
According to a police source, a Joint Services team had travelled to Arimu, Cuyuni on Sunday to check on reports that Brazilian miners had captured De Freitas. However, they found no evidence that the suspect had ever been caught.
The official confirmed that a woman was detained at Bartica, but said she was subsequently released.
Another source suggested that the reports of De Freitas’s demise might have been fuelled by the fact that residents observed an army helicopter landing at the Bartica Community Centre yesterday.
One resident insisted yesterday that the ranks had exited the helicopter with a body bag, though police officials are adamant this report was erroneous.
They said that what appeared to be a body bag was in fact a container for bulletproof vests and helmets.
Earlier, there were reports that De Freitas had been captured on Saturday by Brazilians and had subsequently died.
Police believe that De Freitas, who is from Bartica, fled during Saturday’s confrontation between the gang and police.
At around 02:30 hrs on Saturday, a Joint Services team killed gang members Dwayne Marks, 25, called “Bully” of Bartica; Antwan Smith, 35, called “Deportee” of Linden; and Gavin Gray, 27, called “Sweet Eyes” of Bartica, after tracking them to Cuyuni.
Police allege that the men had opened fire on the ranks who were walking along a trail.
A police rank, identified as Lance Corporal 16834 Isaacs, was wounded in the right forearm in the exchange of fire.
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