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Probe launched into suspected “powdered carbon” in rice at GDF base

Brigadier Mark Phillips

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) was Saturday probing the discovery of a small bag of suspected “powdered carbon” in one of bag of rice at Base Camp Stephenson, Timehri.

GDF Brigadier Mark Phillips stated clearly that no one has been poisoned and that appeared to be an “isolated” occurrence. 

“At the moment, this appears to be an isolated incident as there has been no other indication that there are any other rice bag or food items which are contaminated,” the GDF later said in a statement.

He told Demerara Waves Online News that police were called in and the material was taken away for laboratory tests to be conducted.

Phillips stressed that a full and wide-ranging probe has been launched into the discovery of the object in one bag which was part of a larger consignment of bags of rice. He said the other bags would be checked.

The army Chief-of-Staff declined to the name the supplier of the grain, but said the probe would extend there as well.

The GDF said in its statement that at approximately 6:30 Saturday morning, a sealed bag of rice was opened by ration store personnel in order that rice could be distributed to various kitchens at Base Camp  Stephenson. 

“While dipping the rice out, the two ranks observed a brown paper bag which they inadvertently tore as they dipped the rice. Inside the paper bag, was a substance suspected to be powered carbon,” according to the army.

The GDF assured that it would continue to exercise diligence and seek to ensure that it mitigates against any possibility of harm coming to its troops.