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Gold panning continues in Chiquibul, two charged Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 03 August 2017 00:00

The Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) are reporting that 2 Guatemalans were caught panning for gold inside the Chiquibul Forest Reserve.

They were spotted on Saturday, July 29, at around 7 a.m., by an early morning patrol of FCD rangers. 40 year-old Thomas Gomez, and 37 year-old Domingo Pana, both from Narajon, Dolores Peten, were caught sleeping in a makeshift camp about 6 kilometers inside the Chiquibul. That’s in the Ceibo Chico area, well inside Belizean territory, and so the men were detained, and their camp was searched. The officers found 6 live cartridges for a 16-gauge shotgun, and a black plastic bag which contained marijuana. The rangers also found an assortment of tools known to be used for gold panning. They searched for the weapon that goes with these cartridges, but the officers couldn’t find it.

The FCD records say that Domingo Pana had been detained before. 4 years ago, he was picked up by rangers along with 2 other Guatemalans, and at that time, they were in possession of an unlicensed firearm.

The men were then extracted from Ceibo Chico, which was an arduous 12-and-a-half-hour trip to the San Ignacio Police Station. They were handed over to police, where on July 30th police formally arrested and charged Domingo Pana and Thomas Gomes for kept ammunition without a gun license and Domingo Pana for being in possession of a controlled drug.

They are also expected to be charged for illegal entry by and could also face charges brought by the Forestry Department.