Ukrainians remanded over alleged assault of Guyanese miners

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CHARGED: Maksym Furtak and Vitaly Paraschuck

The two Russian-speaking Ukrainians who allegedly assaulted and made threats to two Guyanese miners/rangers were today (Tuesday) brought before the Chief Magistrate to face the charges against them.

Vitaly Paraschuck, 38, of A 173 Robin’s Place, Bel Air Park, Georgetown and Maksym Furtak , 33, who were stationed at Quartzstone, Cuyuni, where the incident occurred denied the allegations through the use of a translator.

The men who were represented by Attorney at Law Mark Waldron, answered to their charges separately.

It is alleged that Paraschuck, on August 3 2018 at Quartzstone Backdam, Cuyuni River, while employed as a coordinator and Security Officer by the West Bank Demerara Gold Incorporated  Security Service, failed to wear his uniform while on duty.

It is also alleged that on the same day at the same location, he made use of threatening behaviour (pointing a gun) to Charles Clarke, whereby a breach of peace was occasioned.

Paraschuck also reportedly unlawfully assaulted Clarke so as to cause him actual bodily harm.

The charges against Furtak, who is a Manager, alleged that he, on August 3 at the same location, and while being employed by the West Bank Demerara Gold Incorporated Security Service, failed to wear his uniform while on duty.

He is also being charged for allegedly making use of threating behaviour to Rudolph Deane breaching the peace on July 28 at said Quartzstone.

Attorney Waldron in his bail application told Magistrate, Ann McLennan that his clients do not pose a flight risk since they already lodged their passports with the Police.

He revealed that West Bank Demerara Gold Incorporated Security Service has taken the decision to have the men remain in Georgetown until the matter is completed.

The men are also said to be cooperating with investigators.

However, Police Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield objected to bail noting that the men have no ties to Guyana’s jurisdiction as no local address was given for one of the defendants as well as contrary to the claims of their Attorney, their passports have not been lodged and as such, they pose a flight risk.

Both men were remanded to prison and will next appear in the Bartica Magistrate Court on August 23 2018.

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

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

In a statement, the Police 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.”

Prior to this, it was publicised 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 Russian operative who is known in the concession area as “Vitaly,” 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 allegedly showed “Vitaly,” 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.

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