Brothers charged in connection with Arimu Backdam double murder

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Thirty-two-year-old Travis Fredericks and his brother, Fernando Fredericks, 28, both of Tuschen Housing Scheme, East Bank Essequibo were today charged in connection with the murders of Zaheer Mohammed Sheriff and Donvan Washington.

The duo was charged separately with the offence of being an accessory after the fact to the murders. They appeared before Magistrate Teriq Mohamed at the Bartica Magistrate’s Court and were not required to plead to the indictable charge.

As such, they were remanded to prison and will make their next court appearance on April 25, 2024.

The bodies of Sheriff, 50, formerly of Byderabo Road, Bartica, and 26-year-old Donvan Washington, a Porter of Seventh Avenue, Bartica were riddled with bullets on March 3, 2024, at Arimu, Backdam Cuyuni River.

It was reported that two masked men, on a red All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), carted off 102 ounces of raw gold valued at $37 million and two licensed firearms (a .32 pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun), property of Sheriff, a father of three of Byderabo Road, Bartica.

Investigations so far revealed that Sheriff was the owner of a six-inch land dredge operation at Arimu Backdam and he had ‘washed down’ on Sunday morning. He then left the camp along with Washington, also a father of three, of Seventh Avenue, Bartica, on an ATV. The men were en route to Bartica.

According to the Police, the General Manager for the Sheriff’s operation reported that about five minutes after his boss left camp, he heard several loud explosions which he suspected to be gunshots.

He said he went to investigate, and about 500 metres from the camp, found both Sheriff and Washington lying in the trail with gunshot injuries about their bodies.Police said that the 39-year-old manager reported that he observed that both of Sheriff’s firearms and the gold were missing. He later made a report to the Bartica Police Station.Sheriff’s body was examined, and Police said he was shot in his right upper chest, upper right thigh, upper right arm, and left upper back.

Washington’s body was also examined. He 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.

A close relative of Washington had told this publication that they received a call on Sunday morning that the duo was ambushed shortly after processing raw gold from the mining operations. The relative said that the family was still in shock at the man’s sudden death.Nevertheless, the autopsies were performed on the bodies of Washington and Mohammed Sheriff by Government Pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh on Monday who gave the cause of death as ‘multiple gunshot wounds’.