Evidence sent to St Lucia for analysis – President

WCB teens’ murders

President Irfaan Ali has revealed that evidence gathered from the investigations into the murders of West Coast Berbice teenagers Isaiah and Joel Henry and Haresh Singh has been sent to St Lucia for analysis.
The Head of State made the disclosure during a recent interview with media personnel at his office, the Department of Public Information has reported.
“We have a team that has left for St. Lucia with some of the evidence to do more detailed analysis, so that is going on. At the same time, for confidentiality reasons, the regional body has asked to have certain things respected from their perspective, and we are sticking to that. There are components of the MOU that can’t be made public,” President Ali is quoted as saying.
While noting that there is a cost attached to the support Guyana is receiving from the regional body, he added, “(It) is a small issue in relation to what we hope to achieve, and that is: bringing these people to justice.”
Meanwhile, a five-member team of investigators from the Regional Security System (RSS) is currently in Guyana to assist the Guyana Police Force (GPF) with its investigations into the murder of the teens.
The team, which arrived in the country on Monday, met with Commissioner of Police (ag) Nigel Hoppie, Crime Chief Senior Superintendent Wendell Blanhum, and ranks of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) as well as the Major Crimes Unit (MCU).
The visit of the RSS team is as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government of Guyana and the Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (Caricom IMPACS) consequent to a decision by Guyana’s President Dr Irfaan Ali to seek regional assistance with the investigations.
The RSS was created out of a need for a collective response to security threats which were impacting on the stability of the region in the early 1970s and 1980s. The RSS is described as a “hybrid” organisation, in that its security forces comprise both military and Police personnel who remain under the command of their respective Heads.
On September 6, the bodies of Isaiah and Joel Henry were found in the backlands of Cotton Tree, WCB almost one day after they were reported missing. They had left their Number Three Village, WCB home to pick coconuts in the backlands, but did not return home. Their butchered bodies were found in clumps of bushes partially covered in mud after relatives went in search of them.
The news of their deaths sparked protests across several villages along the West Berbice corridor, and commuters and other innocent persons were beaten and robbed, while roads were blocked and some vehicles were torched.
Three days later, on September 9, 17-year-old Singh was found murdered at the Number Three Village backlands. It is suspected that his death was in retaliation for the murders of Isaiah and Joel, since he is related to one of the persons initially held by the Police.
Several persons who were arrested for the murder of the Henry teens were released on station bail, while, to date, no arrest has been made in relation to Singh’s murder.