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Police force virtually silent on investigation into West Berbice killings

The Guyana Police Force on Sunday remained virtually tight-lipped for a fourth straight day on the status of investigations into the several killings on the West Coast Berbice over the past week.

Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn also could not provide any useful information, instead merely saying that the police were continuing their investigations and he would prefer not to speculate.

President Irfaan Ali, in a brief comment,  confirmed that requests for investigative help for the Guyana Police Force have been dispatched to the United Kingdom and the Caribbean Regional Security System  (RSS). Another government official said acknowledgements were received.

Sources say the largely military-oriented RSS might not be the best  option that has been chosen by the  Guyana government.

The police force spokesman, Assistant Commissioner Royston Andries-Junor’s responses were few and far apart and largely maintained the official line that investigations were continuing.

On Sunday night, he said “there is no update at this time” but when pressed on whether anyone was still in custody, he said “yes. Don’t have further details.”

The Guyana Police Force last week arrested seven persons, including the owner of a coconut estate in the backlands of Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice near where the bodies of Isaiah and Joel Henry were found on Sunday, September 6, 2020 a day after they had left their Number Three Village residence to pick coconuts to sell.  Amid unrest by angry residents, two days later 17-year old Haresh Singh was killed at Number Three Village while going to his farm. His burnt motorcycle was left near his body.

The latest official word from the police force on the probe into the killing and mutilation of the bodies of the Henry cousins was that four of the seven persons had been released on station bail. Samples were expected to be dispatched to the Forensic Laboratory.

At Bath Settlement Public Road, West Coast Berbice, a 34-year old man was beaten this past week after he fired a shotgun at a group of protesters.