15-Y-O told Police ‘Fineman Gang’ killed Lindo Creek miners

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By Devina Samaroo

A 15-year-old boy told the Guyana Police Force a decade ago that he was at the scene when the country’s most wanted man, Rondell ‘Fineman’ Rawlins and his gang, killed and burnt the body of the eight miners at Lindo Creek in June 2008.

The teenager, Dwayne Williams, also known as ‘Small Friend’ was reportedly a member of the Fineman Gang. The now 25-year-old is currently on trial in the High Court for his involvement in the Bartica Massacre.

Williams was arrested on June 16, 2008 at Ituni after he was separated from members of the Fineman Gang. He was only 15-year-old at the time.

In his testimony before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) Tuesday morning, Superintendent Trevor Reid – who headed the Major Crimes Unit at the time – recalled the chilling account provided by the young gang member.

Reid also admitted that the Police Force might not have conducted a proper investigation into the murder of the miners.

Reid told the Commission that Williams was interviewed about crimes committed by the gang but he initially made no mention of the Lindo Creek massacre.

Reid said on June 20, 2008, information surfaced about the discovery of the burnt bodies at Lindo Creek and then on July 4, 2008, Williams submitted a caution statement revealing details of what unfolded at Lindo Creek in June.

This voluntary statement was submitted in the presence of two pastors and a cop identified as Corporal Sarabo, Reid told the COI.

In reading out Williams’ statement before the Commission, Reid said after the confrontation with the police team at Christmas Falls, the Fineman Gang came into contact with the miners a few days later.

“We crossed the river, we keep walking for the entire day and we walk into dem man camp. We hold on pun dem and Magic [Cecil Ramcharan] tied dem up. We cooked a Chowmein and we stayed there til next morning,” Reid said, as he read from Williams’ statement.

Williams reportedly told the police that two nights into staying at the camp, “about 12 ‘o’ clock time, (I was) sleeping and (I heard) shots start burst. When me look, I see dem man (that they) tied up, they shoot up them man. Eight man been deh.”

Williams further wrote, “Magic throw gasoline pun dem and light them on fire.”

Reid told the Commission that Williams’ version is “different” from what the media has been reporting – which were allegations from the camp owner, Leonard Arokium that it was the Joint Services members who mistook the miners for the bandits and killed them.

Meanwhile, Reid admitted to the Donald Trotman-Commission that based on his experience in dealing with homicide cases, the investigation into the Lindo Creek incident appeared incomplete.

“As an investigator, much more work needed to be done and this (COI) what we are doing would not have been necessary,” he stated.

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