Five-member Caribbean law enforcement team arrives to probe Henrys, Singh murders

Last Updated on Monday, 28 September 2020, 20:01 by Denis Chabrol

A five-member team of investigators from the Regional Security System, (RSS) arrived in the country on Monday to assist the Guyana Police Force in probing the killings of the two teenage cousins and a young adult on the West Coast Berbice earlier this month.

An Assistant Police Commissioner and officials from countries within the Regional Investigative Management Systems (RIMS) make up the team, Guyana Police Force spokesman, Assistant Police Commissioner Royston Andries-Junor said.

The police  force gave no further clues about what exactly the regional team would be doing, having come here days after a sweep by police and soldiers of the West Coast Berbice backlands had come up  empty-handed with any clues concerning the killings of Isaiah and Joel Henry as well Naresh Singh.

The Police Force is said to be awaiting results from samples submitted to the National Forensic Laboratory.

Mr. Andries-Junor said the RSS team has already met with Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie, Head of the Criminal Investigations Department Senior Superintendent Wendell Blanhum and members of the Criminal Investigation Department’s Major Crimes Investigations Unit. “The Commissioner welcomed them to Guyana and assured them of the Guyana Police Force’s commitment to make available all the necessary resources to facilitate a conducive environment for their work,” he said.

The visit by the  RSS team is in keeping with a Memorandum of Understanding between the Guyana government and The Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS) based on a decision by President Irfaan Ali to seek Regional assistance with the investigations.

Guyanese investigators have already concluded that the Henry cousins were killed and mutilated at another location and then taken to a coconut estate at Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice. Their bodies were discovered on Sunday, September 6, 2020 a day after they had left their Number Three Village residence to pick coconuts to sell

17-year old Haresh Singh was killed and his  motorcycle burnt as he was heading to his farm on September 9, 2020 , at the time of unrest that had been sparked off by the killing of the Henrys.

The killings had sparked off racially motivated tensions on the West Coast Berbice where mostly Indo-Guyanese had been attacked, beaten and robbed and their vehicles damaged or destroyed. Several protesters were injured when police opened fire to clear the major east-west corridor of burning debris and other obstacles.

Eventually, top political leaders of the governing coalition called for peace while at the same time linking the unrest to outrage by people who had been angered by the failure of the governing People’s Progressive Party to condemn post-elections in March, 2020. Those incident had included the chopping of a number of policemen and the stoning of a  school bus that led to physical injury and mental trauma of a number of students.