– Weapons seizure may slow ‘gangster’ operations in B’ce
NEW AMSTERDAM, BERBICE – Members of the Guyana Police Force are now trying to determine how the unlicenced UZI semi-automatic submachine gun could have entered Guyana since it is not the type of weapon on the inventory of any of the armed forces in Guyana.
Yesterday Commander of Division ‘B’ of the Guyana Police Force, Assistant Commissioner Steve Merai called a press conference to ventilate the issues surrounding Tuesday night’s seizure of several high-powered weapons from criminals operating in the Ancient County.
Also attending were Superintendent Lyndon Alves, who is holding the fort as Second-In-Charge of Division ‘B’ and Officer-in-Charge of Crime, Superintendent Courtney Ramsey.
It may be the first time police intercepted this particular size of UZI in Guyana.
Superintendent Alves, who is said to be a specialist in weapons, claimed that the UZI is not the everyday type of gun found in this country.
It is said to be a different kind of weapon because of its range and the fact that it can shoot both single and automatic. If care is not taken by the user there can be serious problems.
It has a magazine which carries 30 rounds and if put on automatic, one burst can empty the magazine. It could also discharge between 200 and 300 rounds per minute.
Commander Merai noted that the UZI is certainly of concern, and during his 30 years in the Force, only a smaller version was previously seized.
But in an invited comment, a senior official of the Guyana Police Force said that an AK-47, which is Russian, is more destructive and can cover a distance of 200 yards while the UZI only covers 100 yards.
The recovery of the UZI semi-automatic submachine gun, two AK-47 assault rifles, a 12-gauge pump action shotgun and a Mossberg 12-gauge pump action shotgun plus six rounds of shotgun ammunition in Berbice on Tuesday may put a dent in the operations of gangs in the region.
Officials in Division ‘B’ received information to suggest that the weapons seized in Adelphi would have been used to commit a crime in the Central Corentyne area.
Commander Merai attributed the bust to a change put in place by the police after revisiting old strategies. Based on many reports of ‘small robberies’, it was decided that patrols would now stop, search and detain shady characters.
This new tactic bore fruit on Tuesday. That evening, a patrol operating in the Adelphi area had responded to a report of assault and was returning to their normal routine about 22:20 hours when they observed two known law-breakers walking along the roadway in a suspicious manner.
The team attempted to question them and they fled. The patrol gave pursuit and captured one of them – 25-year-old Timothy Sampson of Adelphi New Scheme.
During the process a struggle ensued and one of the ranks was said to be bitten by the man. Moments later the black duffel bag he was carrying was searched and two AK-47 assault rifles, an UZI semi-automatic submachine gun and a 12-gauge pump action shotgun with three matching rounds of ammunition were found.
He was detained and may be charged tomorrow and placed before the court on Monday.
His male companion, later identified as Raymond Fraser of no fixed place of abode, but may be based in Adelphi, escaped.
He was said to be carrying another bag which is suspected to have more ammunition. Police are to issue a wanted bulletin for him shortly.
Officials of the Guyana Defence Force have since identified the two AK 47 rifles as stolen from their weaponry a few years ago.
Meanwhile the same night, at 22:30 hours at Number 58 Village, another patrol observed 26-year old Inshan Das called Ravi, a farmer, acting in a suspicious manner. He too ran as police ranks tried to question him.
The patrol gave chase, which ended in his home at Lot 73 Number 58 Village. The dwelling place was searched and a Mossberg 12-guage pump action shotgun was unearthed with three matching rounds in a room. He was placed before Magistrate Krishendat Persaud at the Springlands Magistrate’s Court yesterday. After entering a guilty plea he was sentenced to two years behind bars.
Commander Merai said it is believed that Timothy Sampson and his partner in crime Raymond Fraser are part of a gang based in the East Canje area but plying their trade in other localities such as Black Bush Polder using the Canje River.
The gang was headed by 40-year-old David McPherson called ‘Colonel’ of Betsy Ground, East Canje who was gunned down in June after an exchange of bullets with police ranks.
This gang may also be working in tandem with another group from the Liverpool/Alness area and probably have some connection to the Wellington Park reign of terror in May this year.
In that incident 47-year old Arjune Gobin a security guard attached to Nand Persaud and Company Limited of Number 36 Village on the Corentyne was shot and killed by bandits in what was intended to be an early morning robbery at the home of a businessman Surendra Ganesh of Wellington Park on the Corentyne.
During the rampage, the bandits discharged rounds to different sections of the house, used sledge hammers and made a hole on the concrete wall on the southern side of the house, and broke windows to gain entry.
Surendra Ganesh is the proprietor of the Ganesh Service Station which is situated between his home and his NPG Packaging and Plastic Limited business on the Wellington Park Public Road.
It is suspected that two of the confiscated weapons may have been used in that incident as well as a robbery in Springlands recently.
Known characters are said to enter Guyana via the backtrack, link with accomplices, commit robberies then return to neighbouring Suriname. One such is the 41-year-old Samuel Fable called Sammy of Angoy’s Avenue in New Amsterdam, Ulverston Village and Mibicuri South Black Bush Polder who escaped from prison on March 15th, 2007 and has been on the run since. He is apparently hiding out in neighbouring Suriname. Fable and three accomplices were charged for the murder of Gangaram Busgith, a butcher of Alness Village Corentyne in 2006.
All of the confiscated weapons are to be sent to Georgetown where ballistic tests would be carried out.
Division ‘B’ of the Guyana Police Force would continue its campaigns and strategies to ensure that residents are safe at all times.
Commander Merai, in saying this dent in the activities of criminal elements is a move in the right direction, acknowledged that more weapons are still on the streets. He said many reports of robberies were received in which long weapons were used in areas such as Port Mourant and Hampshire.
He showered kudos on the patrols in Tuesday’s operations in Adelphi and Number 58 Village for the job done in reducing the number of unlicenced firearms on the road. He said they operated as professionals and neither of the two men who were detained made any complaints of violation. Of the three-man team in the Adelphi bust, only one rank was armed with a small gun.
Two of the ranks just passed out from the Felix Austin Police College in August while the third did the same in December.
Meanwhile, Officer-in-Charge of Crime Superintendent Courtney Ramsey disclosed that so far this year some 12 weapons have been seized in Division ‘B’, a figure surpassing the eight for the corresponding period last year.
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