The Ministry of Natural Resources has ordered an “immediate probe” into an incident that was captured on video showing an armed foreign security guard assaulting a local miner.
The security guard reportedly works for a Russian company that is involved in mining. The Ministry said the video clearly shows the armed security guard behaving in an aggressive, hostile and condescending manner towards the man who appears to be a Guyanese national.
The Guyanese national reportedly works for one of the big local mining companies that has several mining claims in the interior region.
“The images are disturbing on many levels and raise issues about security, the authority of foreigners to carry arms and conflict resolution in the mining sector. To this end, the Minister of Natural Resources has instructed the Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Director of the Corps of Wardens to launch an immediate investigation to ascertain the veracity of the video and to solicit the support of the Guyana Police Force in their investigation”, the statement said.
In the video, the foreign security guard could be seen questioning the local miner before the two got into a row and the foreigner punches the local miner before drawing his gun.
The video first started surfacing on the Facebook page of President of the New York based, Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy, Rickford Burke.
In a statement, Burke explained that the incident occurred on April 3, 2018, when Guyanese ranger Ken Edwards and Charles Clarke, employees of Hopkinson Mining Logistics, were executing their normal duties on their employer’s claim, in Quartzstone, near the Quartzstone River, Region 7, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, when they were intercepted by two expatriates, Russian operatives of West Bank Demerara Gold Inc.
He said the Russians attempted to prohibit the Hopkinson workers from entering further on said land.
West Bank Demerara Gold Inc. a company, which acquired and now operates a mining concession known as Chunnylall Babullal & Ricky Ramnarine (CB&R) Concession.
Hopkinson Mining Logistics has mining claims within the CB&R concession that predates its acquisition by West Bank Demerara Gold Inc, he explained.