…has no evidence to prove theory
…former PM for interview by CoI
Leonard George Arokium, co-owner of the mining camp at Lindo Creek in the Upper Berbice River where, in 2008, eight employees were killed and their bodies burnt, remains convinced that notorious criminal Rondel “Fine Man” Rawlins and his gang did not commit that horrendous crime.
Rather, he remains convinced that Joint Services ranks were responsible.
Arokium lost a son and brother when armed men invaded his mining camp at Lindo Creek, shot and killed, then burned the bodies of miners Cecil Arokium, Dax Arokium, Compton Speirs, Horace Drakes, Clifton Wong, Lancelot Lee, Bonny Harry and Nigel Torres sometime between June 12, 2008 and June 24, 2008.
Since the issue came to the fore, Leonard Arokium has repeatedly stated that he was reliably informed that members of the Joint Services were responsible for the men’s deaths.
When he took to the stand before the Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday, it was revealed that in the interest of closure, he chose to appear as the Commission’s last witness at the public hearings regarding the 2008 horrendous happenings at Lindo Creek.
Leonard Arokium testified that he has no evidence to prove who had killed his workers, but he said that while there was a heavy Joint Services’ presence in the area, it was “impossible” for the Fine Man gang to have ventured to the location, killed the men, burnt their bodies, and then go along their way.
He further related that because of the tight security at the Unamco checkpoint, and the distance between Lindo Creek and Christmas Falls – where the criminal gang had last encountered Police — it was highly “impossible” for the gang to have ventured to the area without being seen.
Recollecting when he had initially received information of the incident, Arokium said the mother of one of the miners, Yonette Torres, had, on June 18, 2008, contacted him about the incident.
He further related that he had received an anonymous call from someone, informing that Joint Services ranks had killed the workers.
He said that after he had received the information, he called a fellow miner who had been expected to visit the area and arranged a ride up to the site. He said they reached the Lindo Creek area sometime during June 21, 2008, and when he got to the site of his mining camp, he was confronted by the horrendous scene.
The CoI heard that the miner had seen the burnt remains of his workers stacked one on the other, and that the tarpaulin on one of the camps was missing. Further, while on his way to the camp, Arokium had had a conversation with a man named “Anthony,” who related to him that two of his workers would venture to the Unamco Trail and interact with the Joint Services ranks. He said “Anthony” told him that the ranks had been inquiring when the miners were “washing down”.
However, Arokium’s credibility was questioned when Counsel for the GDF, Leslie Sobers, put it to him that all his evidence was hearsay, and that “Anthony” had given the Police a statement refuting all the information he had allegedly given.
Sobers caused Commission Counsel Patrice Henry to comb through the report compiled by Sergeant Rodwell Sarrabo and find three statements made in the name of Anthony Herber, one with the sole purpose of denying the information produced by Arokium.
Further pressed, Arokium said he remains convinced that Joint Services ranks were responsible for the men’s deaths, since, in his opinion, the “Fine Man” gang had no motive to kill the men and then burn their bodies.
Sam Hinds to be interviewed
Following discovery of the bodies, a high-level team comprising acting President Sam Hinds, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, late Police Commissioner Henry Greene, and other senior Police officers had visited the affected families. Arokium testified that Hinds had tried to convince him that “Fine Man” was responsible for the killings, but he had refuted those statements. In light of that revelation, CoI Commissioner Donald Trotman, through his counsel, related that, during the upcoming days, the Commission would interview Hinds, since the public hearings had come to an end on Tuesday.