A video that was circulated on social media of an altercation between Russian miners and the security personnel of a Guyanese mining outfit has caused the Ministry of Natural Resources to order an immediate probe into the incident.
The video allegedly shows armed foreigners assaulting local miners. It showed a Guyanese being confronted by two foreigners who are presumed to be Russian. The foreigners were wearing pants resembling military fatigue and ordinary jerseys, and both men were armed with handguns.
The Guyanese was telling the Russians that he was not working for them and did not have to show them anything. This seemed to be because the Russians felt that the man was working in the wrong area.
The Russian then punched the Guyanese and the Guyanese attempted to respond in kind, after which the Russian drew his handgun.
The video sparked a debate on social media that saw Guyanese expressing dissatisfaction about how foreigners are treating Guyanese. The video was then followed by photos of what is presumed to be a Guyanese miner who was kidnapped and tortured in a mining camp somewhere in the interior of Guyana, with suggestions that this was done by the same Russians.
The photos showed a male handcuffed to an overhead rafter, and left in a standing position. This sparked even more anger. But so far, no one had been able to identify the individual who was assumedly kidnapped and tortured.
The police say they have no reports of such an incident. Reports are that the Guyanese who were affected worked for a miner named Shawn Hopkinson.
The Ministry of Natural Resources in a statement said, “The Ministry has noted with deep concern and strong consternation a video circulating on social media, which appears to show a confrontation at a mining location between an alleged foreigner and Guyanese miner.
“The video clearly shows that the alleged foreigner is armed with a firearm and behaving in an aggressive, hostile and condescending manner towards the man who appears to be a Guyanese national.
“The images are disturbing on many levels and raise issues about security, the authority of foreigners to carry arms and conflict resolution in the mining sector. To this end, the Minister of Natural Resources has instructed the Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Director of the Corps of Wardens to launch an immediate investigation to ascertain the veracity of the video and to solicit the support of the Guyana Police Force in their investigation.”
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