Escapee likely still in Bartica Triangle area; authorities upset at ‘well-planned’ escape
Convicted mass murderer and death row inmate, Mark Royden Williams was shackled at the time of his escape and is believed to be aided by three accomplices who are all still likely in the Bartica Triangle area.
These were among the new revelations made by Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn during a press conference on Saturday, one day after Williams escaped the maximum security Mazaruni Prison, located in Region Seven on the bank of the Essequibo River.
Benn told reporters at his Brickdam office that the general area has been isolated and is being combed by scores of joint services ranks by land, river and air.
“We are checking vehicles and persons coming in and out of area. There will be restrictions overnight in relation to movement to various locations in the area,” Benn said as he reminded of a $10 million reward for the recapture of Williams.
Twenty-four hours later, Benn is convinced that Williams and his accomplices are still in Guyana. He could not confirm any sighting of the men since the escape at around 14:30 hrs on Friday.
The boat used in the escape has since been recovered, roughly four miles upriver and its captain arrested. The captain claims to have been forced and only managed to separate from the bandits following an engine failure.
“The boat was found on the right bank of the Cuyuni River in the vicinity of the quarries.”
The Security Minister said the government was upset that such a serious and unfortunate incident occurred, putting the safety of people at risk. And to demonstrate that seriousness, he reminded of Williams’ involvement in the attack of the Bartica Police Station and the Lusignan massacre.
No one can confirm if there were any lapses or violations on the part of prison officials although Prison Director (ag) Nicklon Elliott joined Benn for the press briefing.
But what is known is that two prison officers are among the four persons in custody. It also includes the woman who went to visit Williams minutes before the escape.
While she is believed to be a foreigner, the men who led the gun assault are all Guyanese from the criminal underworld, Benn said.
“This was well planned…there maybe persons in the prison system and otherwise who may be involved,” Benn said.
The Police advised that persons with any information on the whereabouts of Williams can contact them on telephone numbers: 225-6940, 225-8196, 225-2317, 227-1149 or the nearest Police Station.
And Benn reminded on Saturday of prosecution and charges for persons found to be shielding these criminals.
The convicted mass murderer escaped while being escorted back from a visit with the aid of heavily armed accomplices in a speedboat. The escort party was fired upon with AK-47 automatic rifles by men inside boat alongside the Mazaruni River.
The boat and its occupants, including Williams, proceeded upstream, past Itaballi landing, while Prison guards and Police in support undertook pursuit.
Williams was convicted of murders stemming from the Bartica massacre in 2008, when he, along with other gunmen, ambushed and killed twelve (12) persons, including three (3) policemen. Additionally, he had been sentenced to death in September last year over the killing on January 23rd, 2008, of Guyana Defence Force member Corporal Ivor Williams.
Royden Williams had previously escaped from the Camp Street Prison on July 09, 2017 but was recaptured on October 10, 2017, on the Weldaad Public Road, West Coast Berbice.
Well no doubt an inside job.