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GGDMA calls for “safe interior” following brutal murder of businessman, porter in gold heist

L-R: Donvan Washington and Zaheer Sheriff

The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) has called on the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to take all necessary actions to ensure the safety of miners conducting business in the interior.

The GGDMA’s call comes hours after a Bartica businessman and his porter were riddled with bullets at Arimu Backdam in Region Seven, on Sunday and robbed of $37 million worth of raw gold and two firearms.

“We urge all our miners to take full security precautions and call on the Guyana Police Force to take the necessary actions so that our interior can be safe for miners to conduct business,” the GGDMA said.

In a statement on Sunday, the Police Force said that Zaheer Sheriff, a 50-year-old dredge owner, “washed down” 102 ounces of raw gold valued at $37 million and left his camp with Donovan Washington, a 26-year-old porter on an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) en route to Bartica.

However, five minutes after Sheriff left, his General Manager, Joel Stephen, 39, told crime sleuths that he heard several loud explosions, which he suspected to be gunshots.

As a result, he said he went to make checks in the area, and about 500 meters away from the camp, he found Sheriff and Washington lying in the trail with gunshot injuries about their bodies.

He also said that he observed that both of Sheriff’s firearms - a .32 pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun and his gold were missing. He later made a report to the Bartica Police Station.


Police arrived on the scene, and Sheriff’s body was examined. Police said he was shot in his right upper chest, upper right thigh, upper right arm, and left upper back.

On the other hand, Police said Washington was shot to his lower abdomen, left chest, left shoulder, left hand, and left elbow, with four wounds to the right thigh, two to the left thigh, and one to his back.

The scene was processed, and one .32 magazine with eight live matching rounds, seven 9mm spent shells, and three .32 spent shells were found.


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