Published On: Fri, Jan 25th, 2013

Guyana will not publish results of investigation into gold robbery

WILLEMSTAD – While the local investigation into the gold robbery of November last year is still ongoing, a Guyanese team has finished their investigation on the island. However, the results of the investigation will not be made public, according to the news site Stabroek News. An official from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), involved with the investigation, stated before the media that the Ministry of Natural Sources will use the report, but the intention is also to share the results with the local police so they can prepare for their next steps.

However, on being asked, police spokesperson Reginald ‘Reggie’ Huggins, stated he was not informed of this report. There was no reaction from the Minister of Natural Sources, Robert Persaud, either on the publication of the report.

The GGMC-team came to the island by order of the Ministry of Natural Sources to investigate the origin of the gold bars. According to the news site from Demerara Waves, the local police actually preferred not to work together with that team.

The Guyanese minister of the Interior, Clement Rohee, stated earlier that a possible investigation into the gold robbery by the Guyanese police depended on that ministry. According to Rohee, his ministry is to decide if the Guyanese policy will start an investigation on the island. However, this will only happen if the ministry can provide useable and concrete information on the robbery. On the other hand the team is still waiting for information from the local authorities, according to the Minister of Natural Sources, Robert Persaud. He stated the local police are only interested in solving the robbery and not in the origin of the gold bars. “We must not forget this is a matter of application of law and that the ministry is not a law enforcement service. We are interested in the case but rather from a commercial viewpoint”, he added. He therefore incites the Guyanese government to obtain information through Interpol.

They further indicated that contrary to what the local police allege, they never spoke with the crewmembers. However, Huggins disputed this report. According to the police spokesperson, it is logic that victims of an armed robbery are heard. The crewmembers were released because they weren’t suspects in this case, he added.

Last Tuesday the police arrested the seventh suspect in this case and confiscated several items that are important for the investigation. The Atrako-team (under command of the Public Prosecutor) is busy with two house searches. The seventh suspect in this case, the 51- year old entrepreneur G.A.R.P., was arrested owing to (his involvement with) armed burglary, money laundering practices, fencing and possession of firearms. In his residence on Cas Coraweg the police confiscated important documents, a mobile telephone, two vehicles and a large amount of cash money. From his company on Ceresstraat, the police officers confiscated many important documents, a mobile telephone, a computer and other important items.

An armed robbery took place on the morning of November 30th when a group of six men in three different cars raced into the parking lot of the Grote Werf and stole seventy gold bars from the boot ‘Summer Bliss’. The perpetrators apparently knew their way around on the boat. They had walked straight to the three metal boxes containing the gold bars of 216 kilograms, worth 11.5 million dollars.  Earlier on the police arrested seven suspects, among whom a jeweler. One suspect was released immediately after interrogation. The lawyers of the Venezuelan female M.B. and 46-year old suspect R.P. submitted a request to the court last Tuesday to release them from custody, under conditions. Spokesperson of the Public Prosecutor, Norman Serphos, confirmed this on being asked. The court is to decide on this request today.

The owner of the gold bars is still unknown.

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