Brazilian pilot, miner found at illegal mining sites remanded to prison

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The two Brazilian nationals, who were allegedly found at illegal mining sites at the Aishalton, South Rupununi, Region Nine, last week, were charged on Monday and remanded to prison.

Alexander Felix, 54, a pilot and Luan Ricardo Braga Silva, 26, a miner appeared virtually before Magistrate Allen Wilson at the Lethem Magistrate Court. They were charged separately.

Felix, a father of two, was charged for operating a civil aircraft without an airworthiness certificate, interference with an aircraft, operating an aircraft without insurance and illegal entry into Guyana.

He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Meanwhile, Silva was charged for illegal entry into Guyana. He too denied the allegation.

Felix was represented by attorney, Kezia Williams, who made an application for bail to be granted. She told the court that her client will appear in court whenever he is required to in relation to the charges.

Silva was unrepresented.

The helicopter found at the illegal site (News Source Guyana photo)

However, the prosecution objected to bail on the grounds the defendants will not return to the court to answer to the charges since they are both foreign nationals and have no ties with the country.

Bail was refused and the matters were adjourned to March 16.

Felix and Silva were arrested on February 19 following the discovery of a helicopter and illegal mining sites.

The News Room was informed that a joint services team, acting on information received, conducted a surveillance of the area in South Rupununi when they spotted the illegal mining camps.

Upon their arrival at the camps, several males suspected to be Brazilians were spotted, but they managed to escape.

The camps were searched and a number of items, including a 12-gauge shotgun with several cartridges, six cellular phones and several documents were found, the News Room was informed.

Further searches were conducted and Silva was arrested.

At about 13:30h the following day, one grey Robinson 44 Helicopter landed at the same site.

At the time, Felix was the lone occupant. He was taken into custody. Nothing illegal was found in the helicopter.

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