Major Crimes Unit dispatched to Lethem to investigate jail break – Crime Chief
…says ranks who were on duty under close arrest
In light of the recent escape of four prisoners from the Lethem Police Station lock-ups, a team of detectives from the Major Crimes Investigation Unit was dispatched to the area on Saturday evening to conduct a thorough investigation.
This was confirmed on Sunday by Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum, who stated that the investigation would ascertain “inter alia, the culpability of those ranks who were performing duties at the time of the escape which occurred between February 25 and 26, 2021”.
In addition, the Senior Superintendent of Police further stated that the investigation would determine whether there were any breaches of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
The Crime Chief further stated that those officers who were on duty on the evening of the breakage were under close arrest as investigations continued.
The men who escaped from the Lethem Police Station lock-ups are Jack King Paul, 36, of Kwatamang Village, North Rupununi; Clarence Rodney, 20, of Lethem, Central Rupununi; Yon Rogg Hernandez, also called “John Roberts”, a Venezuelan national, 26, of Tabatinga, Lethem, and Xarlos Edwards Thomas, an 18-year-old Venezuelan also of Tabatinga.
It was reported that the men used a metal rod measuring one foot in length to dig a hole in the ground measuring three feet in width, length and depth. There was a two-inch layer of concrete on the surface of the hole with red sand beneath.
On the said date about 07:00h, one prisoner from Tabatinga who is in custody for assault alerted the Police that the men were missing from the lock-ups. The Police stated that all efforts were being made to locate and recapture the prisoners.
This escape came just over one week after 25-year-old Imran Ramsaywack of Adelphi Village, East Coast Berbice (ECB); 44-year-old Kenrick Lyte, whose last known address was Grant Good Intent, Lower Pomeroon River; 22-year-old Samuel Gouveia of Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara (ECD), and 22-year-old Rayon Jones of Timehri, East Bank Demerara (EBD) escaped from the high-security Mazaruni Prison.
Ramsaywack and Lyte were on death row while the other two were serving time for manslaughter.
On the day in question about 07:15h during the unlocking of the Brick Prison – Solitary Division – it was observed that the padlock on the entrance gate was tampered with, and further checks revealed that two bars within the cell were cut.
Prison authorities have since said that the Emergency Action Plan as it relates to the escape of inmates was immediately activated, and a joint patrol was established at the outer perimeter of the prison and a search launched by the Joint Services to recapture the four escapees.
To date, none of the escapees has been recaptured, but Ralph Jones, the father of one of the prison escapees, was charged for helping the fugitives after they turned up at his home in Bartica.