Spent shells were not initially found at Lindo Creek – Brother of massacre victim

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By Bibi Khatoon

When the brother of one of the dead miners visited the scene of the Lindo Creek massacre in 2008 with police officers, soldiers and staff of Government Pathologist, Dr. Nehaul Singh, they did not find any spent shells; however, a policeman claimed to have found several spent shells after the search was completed.

Courtney Wong, the man who led the team into the area after the incident, told this to the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Thursday during his testimony. He is the brother of Clifton Wong, who was among eight men found burnt to death at a camp at Lindo Creek in the Berbice River in June 2008.

Upon reaching the camp at Lindo Creek, Berbice River, he said the team entered through the kitchen which was found ransacked; the rice, flour, potato and other groceries which were purchased for the campers were scattered.

At the sleeping quarters, Mr Wong said he first noticed that there were no hammocks or clothes belonging to the men but just beyond the sleeping area, a heap was noticed. That heap was later found to contain burnt human bones and pieces of personal documents.

From observation, he said the men appeared to have been stacked on each other. One of the skulls also, he told the Commission bore a hole which was later found to have been inflicted by a hammer that was found nearby.

Mr. Wong related that himself and the officers proceeded to comb the area for anything unusual and came up with nothing, including no spent shells.

However, he said shortly after, “a police said ‘look ah find a spent shell’…minutes after ‘look ah find another one’, one person finding… probably they were placed with that. Anyhow, three spent shells he found, same police, no other police ain’t find none…same area that was already combed.”

Mr Wong, who is a mechanic, said he saw mining equipment a short distance away, already prepped for work the next day, which meant that the killings occurred after the men completed a full day of work and settled into their camp.

Mr Wong recalled that he and the others tied the burnt remains in a tarpaulin and departed the area as night was approaching. At this time of Mr Wong’s testimony, his niece –the eldest daughter of Clifton Wong – Alicia Wong collapsed.

She was rushed to the hospital and the day’s work was later adjourned to March 22, when Mr Wong is slated to complete his testimony.

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