GDF increases security at border regions

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By Bibi Khatoon

In light of recent publicized killings, allegedly by a well-known and feared gang called ‘Sindicato’ from neighbouring Venezuela, the Guyana Defense Force (GDF) and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) have increased patrols in Regions One and Seven to “instill confidence in the people and to detect if there are any illegal activities occurring.”

This is according to Chief of Staff of the GDF, Brigadier Patrick West.

Speaking with media operatives at the sidelines of the Women’s Army Corps 51st Anniversary Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, the Chief of Staff noted that “most of those activities, the killings and such are occurring on the other side of the border and we have no jurisdiction over there.”

The Chief of Staff accepted though that the issue remains a concern for the local enforcement authorities and is being dealt with by the National Security Council.

“It is a concern for us yes, because one, there may be an overspill…because there may be issues on that side and they will cross over… You may have the movement of illegal immigrants because of the challenges that are occurring on that side and so it becomes more than a security problem, it becomes social, political and economic problem,” Brigadier West said.

One of the things the armed forces would have noticed is the illegal activities would cease while ranks are on patrol but “when the patrols would have returned to base, then there would be the recurrence of some activity.”

However, Brigadier West says the police force is doing their work to ensure that unearth any issues relating to the Sindicato gang or any illegal group working in those border regions.

He further expressed confidence in the GDF’s capabilities to adequately protect the country’s borders.

It was disclosed previously that the GDF is working to use drones to monitor the borders and the Chief of Staff said this monitoring will move beyond the borders –an initiative it hopes to implement in collaboration with Brazil.

At a recent press conference, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said there has been an increase of activities along the border as things continue to escalate in Venezuela.

The Indigenous people and miners have raised concerns about the presence of Venezuelans in the hinterland communities on numerous occasions while some would have reported instances of robbery and harassment by the Venezuelans.

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