Prison break in Guyana foiled

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, December 29, 2008 – Yesterday’s prison break by six inmates, including two accused of two massacres earlier this year, turned out to be short-lived after quick action by police led to their recapture.

According to police, the men had cut through a metal grill and were able to reach the compound of the prison around 3:45 am. Five of them were held in the compound of the Camp Street jail, while the sixth inmate was captured nearby at Rasville, also in the capital, about two hours later.

“An alert prison officer observed the prisoners making efforts to escape over the prison’s outer wall and raised an alarm,” said Director of Prisons Dale Erskine.

The five who were held before they could scale the prison wall were Dennis ‘Anaconda’ Williams who was recently charged in connection with the Bartica massacre, and also for the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) payroll heist last month; Royden Williams, also known as Royden Durant who was charged in connection with the Lusignan slaughter; Paul Bagot; Jermaine Savory and Wayne Archibald.

Sherwin Moses, who got over the wall, was badly slashed by barbed wire in his escape bid and had to be taken to the hospital for treatment. He had been charged, along with others including deceased fugitive Rondell ‘Fineman’ Rawlins – believed to be the mastermind behind both the Bartica and Lusignan massacres that left 23 people dead – with the murder of a Guyana Defence Force soldier.

“The response of the Joint Services was extremely commendable, as well as the alertness of the men (prison officers) in the compound,” Mr Erskine said.

In August this year, officials foiled an escape plot at the jail. But it was in 2002 that a successful escape was made by five prisoners who then unleashed a wave of crime across the country.