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Bartica-Lusignan massacre convict, others escape from Georgetown Prison after distracting prison authorities

ESCAPEE: Mark Royden Durant also known as Royden Williams called “Smallie”. DATE OF BIRTH: 1988/11/14 RACE: NEGRO LAST KNOWN ADDRESS: FRIENDSHIP BUXTON, E.C.D OFFENCES: MURDER & ESCAPE FROM LAWFUL CUSTODY DATE OF OFFENCE: 2017/07/09 PLACE OF INCIDENT: GEORGETOWN PRISON, CAMP STREET

Five prisoners were up to early Monday morning still at large, after distracting prison wardens by setting the overcrowded Georgetown Prison ablaze , authorities said.

“The fire actually served as a distraction which resulted in the prison break. This is still to be confirmed,” Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels told a news briefing at the state-owned National Communications Network (NCN). He said the Duty Officer, who has all the information what transpired, was seriously injured and he was in no position to provide a briefing.

Fire fighters and security personnel are due to comb the scene to confirm that no one was burnt to death or there are more survivors.

He confirmed that prison officer Odinga Wayne Wickham died while receiving emergency treatment at the Georgetown Public Hospital. Two other prison officers, including Hubert Trim, are listed in a critical condition and three others were stable, he said.  They sustained either chop or gunshot wounds.

Up to late Sunday night, there were no reports that prisoners died, but two of them who were taken out of the jail were shot while attempting to escape, he said.

He said the incident started in the strong-cell division and the wood prison/ condemned the decision.

Among the escapees are Royden Williams, who was sentenced to death for the Bartica and Lusignan massacres, and Uree Varswyck who has been committed to stand trial for a robbery-murder. The identities of the others were not immediately known. The Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud said there might be more escapees, but so far they were aware of five.

Uree Varswyke also kniwn as Malcolm Gordon. DATE OF BIRTH: 1989/06/21 RACE: NEGRO LAST KNOWN ADDRESS: LOT 30 CHURCH STREET, LESKENDREN, MAHAICONY E.C.D OFFENCES: MURDER & ESCAPE FROM LAWFUL CUSTODY DATE OF OFFENCE: 2017/07/09 PLACE OF INCIDENT: GEORGETOWN PRISON, CAMP STREET

He said in the days and hours leading up to the fire, there was no sign of unrest among the prisoners.

Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan said there was no evidence of a political motive behind the escape and destruction of the prison by fire, but that would not be ruled out by investigators. “Not as far as I know and I don’t think there might have been. That does not mean that that will be eliminated. In the process of investigating, we are going to check on that too,” he said when asked by Demerara Waves Online News.

Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud said police in neighbouring Suriname have been informed to look out for the four prison escapees.

Authorities said the more than 1,000 prisons have been transported to the Lusignan Prison, East Coast Demerara and are in the open yard of a high-fenced area. “There have been some rogue elements who would have been transferred. However, efforts are being made to have those persons isolated but, as we speak, from reports on the ground the situation is stable,” the Prisons Director said.

The Minister said about 300 of the inmates would be moved by Monday to other prisons, but the remaining 700 would still need proper accommodation. “We have a big crisis on our hands,” he said, while ruling out the temporary housing of several them in schools because of the risk of the schools being burnt.

Although the nine wooden Georgetown Prison buildings have been gutted and others badly damaged, the Public Security Minister said it is likely that a remand facility would be constructed at Camp Street because it is the closest jail to all of the courts in Georgetown and Demerara.

A new prison could cost as GYD$6billion and would take three years, he said.

Fire Chief, Marlon Gentle said it was not until after one hour that fire fighters were able to gain entry to the prison compound where prisoners were armed with guns and other weapons.

Police shot at a car at Buxton after the driver saw the police road block, turned back and sped off. The Police Commissioner said the driver was unlicensed and the occupants are from Buxton, but they were unconnected to the prison break and fire.

The Public Security Minister could not have afforded to invest in some of the 40 recommendations that were made in a Commission of Inquiry Report into last year’s prison fire that claimed the lives of 16 inmates, because of the multi-billion dollar subsidy to the cash-strapped Guyana Sugar Corporation.

He, however, said government would now have to find the cash to rebuild a facility at the Georgetown Prison to house remand prisoners, release some of them who have been convicted for non-violent offences and reduce the bail for a number of the 593 on remand but could not afford it. About 200 others are on remand for murder. Ramjattan said the Chancellor of the Judiciary might also have to review the status of several of the inmates to ensure they have early trials.

About GYD$60 million have been already spent on night courts following last year’s fire that claimed the lives of more than one dozen inmates.

  • rudeo

    Money to pay half million each for two nincompoops described as ministers

  • ExPPP_Man

    PNC doing their thing, this is what they know best , being criminals. You will soon hear all the escapees are freedom fighters as they said back in 2003.

    • Col123

      ExKKK dude…good to hear that you are OK..like you had the day off from the prison yesterday…or you don’t really work at the prison as you have stated?
      Them smoke look like back to Feb 16th 1964…There are lots of stuff in the city now to loot…cars, fridge, TVs….missed an chance to get one.
      Them freedom fightas brothas are back from vacation…..hope they can swim with an AK47….and it comes back full circle!…

      • ExPPP_Man

        Glad to hear you remained alive. How come your brothers didn’t clap some buck shots up your rear ? This is not 2003, we learned well from that, we full armed now. Ya’ll come rob.

        • Col123

          Exdude-man..US trained bro…offense and defense good old US Army style..all from merit…not like my kith and kin welfare officers you have promoted in the GDF….them boys there can’t even beat RK and his rag tag bunch.

          • Yannick23

            Col you got that part right my brother.

    • Richbird

      ExPPP donkey, do you not have any sense of shame? I have observed your rantings for years dude and never was motivated to respond to your politically and possibly racially motivated blathering. Tell me from what universe do you come and which one do you reside? How in gods name do you make a connection between the escape of several criminals and the PNC? Guess what some people may be wondering wether this is the hand of your party. After all the most effective they have ever been was when the country was a narco fueled cauldron of criminality. Chaos existed and it afforded them the best cover to engage in the rape of our country. It’s idiots like you who because of your myopic view of the world cause well minded individuals to give up and just go with the flow. You ignoramuses are yet to consider that a young warden lost his life during this unfortunate event. I’m willing to bet the family farm that you are a bloodsucker who never offered one hour of public service to your country in any capacity and if by some stroke of luck you did work in the public service you were or are corrupt thieving parasite

  • shovid

    (The Public Security Minister could not have afforded to invest in some of the 40 recommendations that were made in a Commission of Inquiry Report into last year’s prison fire that claimed the lives of 16 inmates, because of the multi-billion dollar subsidy to the cash-strapped Guyana Sugar Corporation.)
    THIS IS THE THE RESULT OF HAVING A COCK..EYED SHEEPLE AS THE SECURITY MINISTER!! JUST LIKE A DUCK….

    • Yannick23

      Man have did you got it so right my brother. Don’t knock this breed after all he is the best sniffer Dog in the country. He is from the Guyana News Carrier Jhaat. This is why when he looks to Japan this sniffer sees all the way to Brazil.

  • Yannick23

    We need excellent sniffer dogs to to find these five (5) criminals that are still missing. So let’s get the best sniffers in Guyana, Naaga and Jhaat.Go to work for your daily bread boys.

  • Yannick23

    This power hungry good for nothing, incompetent and cock eyed sniffer will never resign. He must be kicked out.

  • ExPPP_Man

    Dem PPP criminals is who put food on the table for all you PNC kick down the door, armed robbers.

  • Ross O’brien

    Once oil revenue starts coming in, in a few years time, Guyana should then spend some of it to modernize its various facilities, including the jailhouse. At that point, any talk of a ‘cost-prohibitive undertaking’ would be seen as a bad joke.

    Guyana should further strive to develop an image as a peace-loving country; and that will certainly attract, in the long run, tourists dollars from around the globe, in conjunction with the much-anticipated petroleum dollars, for an improved standard of living life for its citizens both at home and abroad.

  • shovid

    Lets Recount Orin, 19 DEATHS, 2 FIRES, Multi Million LOSSES,MAJOR Disruptions, DANGEROUS Prison Escapees, YETT all you can do is hide yours and FLAPNU heads in your collective ASSES??