Authorities probing extortion of Guyanese by Venezuelan gang members

Last Updated on Monday, 11 July 2016, 18:25 by Denis Chabrol

The Guyana Defence Force and Guyana Police Force are to be deployed to  gold mining areas near the border with Venezuela where there have been reports of Venezuelan gang members extorting Guyanese, according to a  high-ranking military officer.

“We (GDF) had a patrol with police in the area and it is now our intention to send another patrol into the area,” GDF Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips told Demerara Waves Online News.

Phillips said there have been reports that ‘Sindicatos’ – members of criminals gangs- have been extorting Guyanese. No one has been injured, he said. “It seems a strict case of extortion,” he said.

Police Force Commander for the Interior Region,  Senior Superintendent Ravindradat Budhram told Demerara Waves Online News that police stationed in the area have not seen anyone committing such offences.

Gold miners in Arau and Eteringbang have been claiming that Venezuelans, armed with grenades and guns, have been demanding taxes from then.