May 09, 2018 News
Dwayne Williams was just about fifteen years old when was he arrested by members of the Joint Services troops at Ituni, Upper Berbice River in June 2008.
The youth was part of the notorious Rondell ‘Fine Man’ Rawlins,” gang at the time.
Gold miners Dax Arokium, Cedric Arokium and Compton Speirs, Horace Drakes, Clifton Wong, Lancelot Lee, Bonny Harry and Nigel Torres, were reportedly tortured and killed at Lindo Creek in the Upper Berbice River in June 2008.
A Presidential Commission of Inquiry, (CoI) has been established into the incident. The CoI is being presided over by retired Justice Donald Trotman.
The hearings are being held at the Public Service Department of the Ministry of the Presidency in Waterloo Street Georgetown.
Yesterday, Attorney for the Commission, Patrice Henry, called Police Superintendent Trevor Reid to the stand.
Reid is said to have been responsible for taking statements from Williams, the teenage gang member in June 2008.
He said that the lad was questioned in relation to the incident after information surfaced that ranks of the Guyana Defence Force, (GDF) had killed the miners at Lindo Creek.
At the time, Reid said that he was the Officer in Charge of Police Major Crimes Investigation Department. He recalled that the youth provided the police with valuable information as it relates to massacres at Lusignan and Bartica.
He told the Commission that as result, the Police procured a Caution Statement, (C.S) from Williams who was incarcerated for the crimes.
The witness recalled that the (C.S) was taken from the teen in the presence of two Pastors and another Policeman, Detective Rodwell Sarabo.
According to the statement, which Officer Reid read from the witness stand, Williams told police that members of the “Fine Man” gang had tied up the miners at Lindo Creek.
Williams claimed that the gang went to stay at the camp after they escaped from a shootout with security forces at Christmas Falls.
The youth said he witnessed when the eight men were set ablaze by the gang members at Lindo Creek.
According to the statement, Williams, now 25 years old, recalled that while at Christmas Falls they came under attack by men in camouflage clothing.
“We crossed the river, we keep walking for the entire day and we walk into dem man camp. We hold on pun dem and Magic [Cecil Ramcharan] tied dem up. We cooked chowmein and we stayed there till next morning.”
Williams also recalled the gang had planned on leaving the following day but they were prevented from leaving the area because of continuous rainfall.
Williams reportedly told the police that two nights into staying at the camp, “about 12 ‘o’ clock time, (I was) sleeping and (I heard) shots start burst. When me look, I see dem man (that they) tied up, they shoot up them man. Eight man been deh.”
“Magic throw gasoline pun dem and light them on fire.”
Reid told the Commission that ‘Magic’ was shot and killed afterwards.
Continuing with Williams’ statement, Reid said the teen claimed they left the next morning after the killing of the miners, but he got separated from the other gang members, headed by Rondell “Fineman” Rawlins and secured a ride from a truck driver.
He was subsequently arrested by “police in plain clothes” at a shop later that day.
According to the policeman, in the statement, Williams made no mention specifically who the shooter(s) was.
“He didn’t say it was Fine Man or who is was.”
Questioned specifically about the whereabouts of Williams, the policeman said that he is instructed that he is currently on remand awaiting his trial in the High Court.
On Monday, Colonel Omar Khan told the Commission of recovering some missing GDF assault rifles at a crime scene at Goat Farm, Upper Berbice River in June 2008.
In his evidence, Khan noted that the discovery led to the belief that the guns may have been used to commit crimes, including the execution-style killings of former Agricultural Minister Satyadeow Sawh and five Kaieteur News pressmen.
According to the witness, the GDF was part of a Joint Service Expedition in the Kwakwani, Upper Berbice River after receiving intelligence, which led to the belief that ‘Fineman’ Rawlins and his gang were in the area.
Khan recalled that during the Joint Operation in the area, officers “came into contact with a boy not more than 14 years who was said to be a part of the Rawlins gang along the UNAMCO trail in the area.”
Khan testified that the lad who was later identified as Dwayne Williams led Security Forces to Goat Farm, a place where an AKM assault rifle, which was said to have belonged to the GDF was recovered. The rifle according to Khan is an upgrade to the AK47 rifle.
The gun is said to have been issued to Police Corporal Ivan Williams, who was shot and killed during a joint operation at Buxton about a year before.
Khan said that the security forces began to pay closer attention to the ‘Fine Man gang’ after discovering spent shells at a number of crime scenes, which matched 7.62 X 39 mm bullets that are used by the AKM rifles.
He told the Commission that the spent shells were recovered at the residence of Agriculture Minister Satyadeow “Sash” Sawh, who along with members of his family, was gunned down.
The spent shells were also found at the scene of the Kaieteur News Printery at Industrial Site, Eccles following the attack, which claimed the lives of five pressmen and at the scene of a bank robbery which occurred at Rose Hall.
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