No efforts being spared to recapture ‘Smallie’ – Min. Benn
Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn on Saturday said the escape of convicted murderer Royden Williams, also known as ‘Smallie’ from the Mazaruni Prisons is being treated with the utmost seriousness.
The minister was providing a live update on the escape at the ministry’s head office on Brickdam.
He assured the nation that the joint services are doing all within their power to recapture Williams and his accomplices.
The home affairs minister said Williams managed to flee from prison guards with the assistance of three accomplices during a routine transport from one location to another.
The prison officers came under heavy fire, and it is reported that AK 47s and AR 15 rifles were used in the attack. Although the guards returned fire, Williams and his accomplices still managed to evade capture.
“There was immediate response from police in the area and also from the prison officials there but we know that they had landed on the Mazaruni right bank and proceeded into the forest overnight.
“And given the nature of his criminality it’s a very serious event, it is being treated with the utmost seriousness and no efforts are being spared, not only to the recapture of Williams who has an assorted criminal past but also his accomplices,” he relayed.
Specialised teams have been deployed to comb the area, utilising checkpoints to identify any movement and prevent potential attacks on civilians.
Minister Benn reminded the public of Williams’ previous involvement in the attack on the Bartica Police Station and the Lusignan Massacre, where innocent military personnel, women, and children lost their lives.
The authorities are fully committed to ensuring their recapture and holding them accountable for their crimes, minister Benn reiterated.
The minister noted that a thorough review of the events leading to the escape will be conducted to identify any procedural violations that may have contributed to the incident.
This aims to prevent future occurrences and strengthen the surveillance and support systems within the prison.
Minister Benn urged residents in the area to exercise caution and avoid providing any assistance or support to the escapees as this has legal consequences, including imprisonment for more than three years.
He noted that it is critical for individuals to report any encounters or unusual movements in the area to the authorities promptly.
Additionally, vehicles and individuals entering or leaving the area are being thoroughly checked.
Director of the Guyana Prison Service (GPS), Nicklon Elliot, also assured the public that this situation is a national priority, as efforts are being made to strengthen the system and enhance security measures to prevent such incidents.