Last Updated on Sunday, 28 May 2017, 17:31 by Denis Chabrol
More than one dozen persons have been arrested from the Kaieteur National Park and were Sunday being transported by air to Georgetown for questioning, sources said.
Demerara Waves Online News was told by sources connected to the area that at least eight residents from the Amerindian village of Chenapau HAVE been already flown to the City and more were later Sunday expected to arrive for questioning. The total number of detainees could be as much as 20, sources said.
Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud would only confirm that a number of arrests have been made, when asked whether several persons have been arrested for illegal mining at the Kaieteur National Parl area.
Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, Newell Dennison told Demerara Waves Online News that he was aware of a planning meeting last Saturday, but he was yet to be updated on the results of the “joint operation.”
“It is my understanding that there as supposed to be a joint operation planned but I have received nothing further,” he said.
Dennison noted that the GGMC and Guyana Police Force have in the past mounted joint operations to weed out illegal mining at the Kaieteur National Park. “We have had joint operations before . We continue to have challenges with people for one reason on or the other who ignore the fact that the Kaieteur National Park is an area off-limits to mining,” the GGMC Commissioner said.
The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) several weeks ago had heaped criticism on government for doing little to stem the massive impact that gold mining has been having on the rivers in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni area.
Under Guyanese law, Amerindians do not enjoy subsurface rights to stones, minerals and and hydrocarbons even if they are found in their reservation.