Dangerous prisoners on the run
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday June 13, 2011 – Authorities in Suriname have been put on alert following the escape of four “dangerous” men from a prison in Guyana, as police and army officials come up empty handed in their search at home.
Two murder accused Rickford La Fleur alias Rickford Williams, 35, and Vinood ‘Mango’ Gopaul, 19; 32-year-old Kevin ‘Long Hair’ Narine aka Ram Sookdial, who was earlier this month sentenced to nine years in prison for armed robbery on the high seas; and Vijay Seenarine, 33, who was awaiting trial on a charge of carnal knowledge, escaped from the New Amsterdam Prison in Berbice around 2:30 am on Saturday, triggering a massive manhunt.
The Ministry of Home Affairs said the four are “considered to be dangerous”.
Police believe the men may be heading to Suriname because one of them, Narine, has strong links to that country. It’s for that reason that authorities there have been contacted and informed that all or some of the four could be coming their way.
Law enforcement officials in Guyana spent the last two days searching several areas, questioning relatives of the inmates, and visiting other people and places they frequent.
And while the search continues for them, the Ministry of Home Affairs says a Board of Inquiry has been set up to determine how they were able to get out of the jail.
According to the ministry, “preliminary reports indicate that the men broke their way out of the prison by cutting the floor board and wending their way through the double floor and exited from the northern part of the prison”.
“They subsequently scaled the prison fence and made good their escape,” it added.
This was not the first escape for Gopaul. He was among 18 remanded prisoners who executed a jailbreak in August 2007 by sawing through iron bars in the recreational area of the prison and scaling a fence. He and the majority of the others were recaptured shortly after, while three were shot dead by law enforcement officials.
The weekend breakout came a week after another one which was allegedly aided by a prison officer.
Surinamese citizen Krishna Paul Doerga, 52, who’d been serving three years for fraud, was taken from the same prison by Orlando Jaundoo on June 4 but both were held in Suriname a few days later.
Doerga is in jail in Suriname now, while Jaundoo is on remand back in Guyana awaiting trial for aiding and abetting the inmate in his escape.
A Board of Inquiry has also been set up to probe that incident.
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