Alleged Sindicato gang member killed during standoff at mining camp
Officers attached to a private security firm on Wednesday night shot and killed a suspected member of the notorious Sindicato gang during an almost two-hour standoff.
The incident occurred sometime around 22:00h when a group of the alleged gang members attacked SSS Mining Camp at Blackwater, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni).
The security firm, Sheriff Security Services, in a post on its Facebook page disclosed that the guards stationed at the mining camp came under heavy fire but were able to defend themselves, returning shots at their attackers, who they claim are members of the notorious Venezuela-based gang.
During the shootout, one of the suspected gang members was fatally shot. The security firm also revealed that two illegal handguns along with matching ammunition and a loaded AK 47 magazine were recovered close to the body.
Divisional Commander Kevin Adonis told reporters that the alleged robbery was reported via Whatsapp messenger sometime around 05:00h on Thursday morning and that a team was dispatched to the area.
“From my information, the water is very low in the Cuyuni River. To go into that creek, it takes about four hours and basically, we’re looking at seven hours for the ranks to reach in there. They had left about 05:30h after receiving the report, they gathered and went in,” Adonis related.
While he could not say definitively whether the attackers were from the Sindicato gang, the Commander did note, however, that from initial reports the perpetrators spoke Spanish.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director of the security firm, Amir Ahmad confirmed that the dead man appeared to be of Spanish descent. He added too that only the Sindicato gang has access to such high-profile weapons.
Ahmad told Guyana Times on Thursday that the ordeal lasted for about one hour and 45 minutes. He said six armed guards were at the camp when they came under fire and without hesitation, they returned fire.
According to the CEO, the workers at the camp had wash down over 300 pounds of raw gold two days prior and as such, they believe the attack might have been an attempted robbery. However, he said that the perpetrators, who were approximately 100 to 150 feet away from the camp, were taken off guard as they did not expect the security guards to return fire.
He explained that there is a tower at the camp and this helped the guards to locate where the shots were being fired from and focused their attack in that area. The counter-attack by the guards prevented the perpetrators from closing in on the camp and as such nothing was stolen and fortunately, no one in the camp was hurt.
Ahmad noted that these guards are ex-military and Policemen as such they are well-trained for such situations. He added that about three hours after the shooting, the guards went to investigate and found the body of the dead gang member with the weapons nearby.
With the worsening economic conditions in neighbouring Venezuela, communities and mining camps along the border have been under constant threat from members of the Sindicato Gang. Local authorities have since beefed up security at these areas.