‘My ranks were not at Lindo Creek’ – Retd. Police Commissioner testifies at Lindo Creek COI
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Retired (retd) Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud today testified that the police were not responsible for the Lindo Creek murders.
Rtd. Commissioner Persaud was one of two witnesses appearing today at the Lindo Creek Commission of Inquiry being led by retired Judge, Donald Trotman at the Department of Public Service, Waterloo Street.
Responding to questions from Attorney-at-Law Patrice Henry, the former top cop recalled that he led a team of six officers and some civilians to Christmas Falls which is located in the Berbice River on June 5, 2008.
Rtd. Commissioner Persaud, who was Crime Chief at the time, said he was acting on the instruction of then Police Commissioner Henry Green. He indicated his team arrived at the right bank of Christmas Falls on June 5, 2008 and camped out there.
He went on to explain that now Assistant Commissioner Clifton Hicken, who was part of the team, had an encounter with Rondell ‘Fineman’ Rawlins’ gang when they crossed to the left bank of the river the following morning after.
“We heard a series of gunshot sounds that lasted for a while. I thereafter crossed the river in the same boat and observed there was a body of a person I later learnt to be Otis Fyffee called ‘Mudduh’ with a gunshot injury to his face,” Commissioner Persaud told the COI.
The former Commissioner said the police seized nine firearms including rifles, shotguns, and handguns along with a quantity of ammunition following the shootout.
Rtd. Commissioner Persaud said it was reported to him by Asst. Commissioner Hicken that the men subsequently escaped in the direction of Lindo Creek. He added that he had he notified Commissioner Green of the encounter and was instructed, by Commissioner Green, to withdraw from the area.
“My ranks were not at Lindo Creek we were at Christmas Falls…I am sure we were not there because we left on the sixth and arrived in Georgetown on the sixth [of June],” Commissioner Persaud stated.
On or about June 26, 2008, Dax Arokium, Cedric Arokium, Compton Speirs, Horace Drakes, Clifton Wong, Lancelot Lee, Bonny Harry and Nigel Torres were mining in Lindo Creek when they met their death.
Wayne Lee, the brother of Lancelot Lee, also gave an account of his recollections following the discovery of the murders.
The COI was commissioned by President David Granger to investigate and make findings of facts on all matters in relation to the killings of the eight miners in the Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice Region on or about June 21, 2018. It will also make recommendations on actions to be taken against all persons/organisations that are deemed responsible for the deaths of those persons.
By: Tiffny Rhodius