The police in a press release last evening had confirmed that two men, 37-year old Indarjit ‘Danny’ Sham of Betsy Ground Village, East Canje and 21-year old Amar Bissoon called Punk of Adelphi Settlement, also in East Canje, were shot dead by members of the Force, during an alleged exchange of gunfire in the Berbice River yesterday.

A 12- gauge pump action shotgun, 11 live cartridges, one .32 pistol, and five live.32 rounds were later found in possession of the dead bandits.

Backing up the police claims that the men were armed, persons from the East Canje area who are familiar with both Bisoon and Sham are claiming that no better end was expected, since the men were part of gang that is surviving on ‘borrowed time’, as the gang is quite notorious for violently stealing livestock, and in appalling numbers, from the Berbice area.

Residents also believe that the gang is responsible for at least three ranch and farm related murders in Berbice, that are yet to be solved.

They nonetheless expressed surprise at the fact that the men were dead, since residents are claiming that the gang leader who goes by many alias including “Meat Pontoon”, has strong connections with several ranks from the Guyana Police Force who were indirectly offering the gang protection over the years.

Though there is very little evidence to back up their allegations, residents are maintaining that it was common for the gang leader to deliver fresh meat in large quantities for police functions free of cost, while also claiming that many ranks would collect meat and money almost on a weekly basis from the man.

At least one resident who give his name only as Basoo, and who also raises livestock claimed that whenever reports are made against any of the gang members, their arrest and detention usually lasted only a few hours, while charges are almost never laid.

He nonetheless commended the police for denting the gang, but want to see all of its members arrested and be placed before the court for many other heinous crimes they had allegedly committed.

Police had said that the two men were part of a gang which held up three labourers at a ranch house at Potocco Creek, Berbice River, and carted off several items including 23 sheep, 15 ducks, one radio, one solar panel, and a quantity of rope.