Ukrainian nationals to be charged for threatening behaviour, assault on miners

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One of the assaulted miners handcuffed to a post

Following allegations into assaults and threats committed on two Guyanese miners/rangers between July 28 and August 3, 2018, legal advice sought has recommended that two Ukrainian Nationals- who speak Russian- be charged.

Vitaly Paraschuck, 38, is expected to be charged with two counts of threatening behaviour and assault causing actual bodily harm, committed on Guyanese, Charles Clarke.

Maksym Furtak, 33, is also expected to be charged with threatening behaviour committed on the second Guyanese, Rudolph Deane.

The men who are reportedly employed by West Bank Demerara Gold Inc., which is licenced to operate in Guyana, are sworn Supernumerary Constables and authorised to carry firearms.

However, in a statement, the Police had said that “The Administration of the Force further wishes to indicate that the Supernumerary Constables in question, being employees of the aforementioned company, ought to have been attired in the prescribed uniform approved by the Force’s Administration for that Company, and not as seen outfitted, in the video footage.”

It was outlined by the Police on Monday that the duo as well as Clarke are expected to be charged separately with contravention of the Private Security Services Act of 2009 for failure to wear their prescribed uniform.

The accused are all expected to appear at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Tuesday.

INews had reported that that two foreign nationals, believed then to be Russians, were caught on video assaulting Guyanese miners and were taken into police custody after an investigation was launched into the issue.

Following the incident, a probe was ordered by the Natural Resources Ministry.

An Investigative Team travelled to Quartzstone, Cuyuni, where the incident occurred and where the men were arrested.

Prior to this, it was publicized that two employees of Hopkinson Mining Logistics were executing duties on their employer’s concession when they were intercepted by two operatives who made every attempt to prohibit them from doing so.

As such, a security officer of Hopkinson recorded the incident with his cellular phone.

The video recording showed a the Ukrainian operative who is known in the concession area as “Batali,” demanding documentation and challenging the two employee’s right to be on their employer’s claim and subsequently attempted to block their access.

The video showed “Batali” punching one of the men to his face and as the employee attempted to defend himself, the foreign national punched him a second time, then pulled a gun on them.

The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) had also obtained additional evidence of a separate incident in which the said Russians allegedly handcuffed another mining worker and tied him onto the roof of a structure and tortured him.

The worker was reportedly forced to urinate and defecate while hanging from the roof.

Earlier on Monday, the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) made a call for the Government of Guyana to send a strong message of its responsibility and commitment to defending the sovereignty of its country, its people and the rule of law, following the recent attack on Guyanese miners in the interior.

“…[We have] been taking note- via social and mainstream media- of the assault on Guyanese, in our own land, by foreigners who are said to be Russians or persons with Ukraine passports… And whereas GTUC calls for due process to be exercised in ensuring the rights of the alleged accused and victims, it warns that this can only be ensured when the full brunt of the law is being brought to bear in every facet of conduct. This includes, but is not confined to whether there exists a mining permit, work permit, and full adherence to the Private Security Services Act (2009),” the entity said in a statement.

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