Unrest erupts at Buxton, truck burnt, road blocked after CANU busts drug trafficker

…$7M worth of ganja unearthed, shots fired by ranks

Residents of Buxton, East Coast Demerara on Wednesday started unrest following an operation conducted by the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) in the area wherein a man was arrested with a large quantity of marijuana.
Guyana Times has been informed that on Wednesday morning the man was nabbed with 51.2 pounds of marijuana by CANU ranks. It has been reported that the suspect was travelling in a white motorcar, PRR 6703, when CANU ranks started a pursuit based on intelligence they had received. During the chase, the ranks fired warning shots in a bid to stop the driver from fleeing. This caused the car to become uncontrollable and end up in a nearby trench at Buxton, ECD. Upon searching the vehicle, the drugs were found in its trunk.

Tyres set on fire on the Railway Embankment at Buxton, ECD

Shortly after, residents of the community took to the main road to protest the man’s arrest. Scores of persons gathered on the roadway and burnt debris, while a truck driver was pulled from his truck and his vehicle was set alight.

The driver of a Canter that was transporting wood was also attacked, and had his windshield damaged as debris was thrown at him.

Engaging community leaders
Speaking with the media, Regional Commander Khali Pareshram said the Police began engaging with the leaders of the community so that they could have the roads unblocked and have traffic flowing freely.
“We are also collaborating with the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit, so that an investigation can be conducted by the national Police as it relates to this issue. Initially, I was told by a few residents on my arrival that some homes were shot at, but I am waiting on the end of this operation to further engage them,” he said.
He also said his ranks do not want to use excessive force to help bring the situation under control.

The car with the drugs which CANU unearthed

“There are certain things that can be dealt with in a different manner, and as we head forward in a strategic way, we are trying to use minimal force in most of our incidents. That is why we are speaking with the leaders of the community to help bring peace…”, he explained.
Meanwhile, the Home Affairs Ministry, in a statement, said Police officers and Fire Service units were immediately sent to the scene to assist in reopening the roadways. By Wednesday afternoon, Police in a statement assured motorists, commuters, and the general public that the East Coast Demerara corridor was open to the free flow of traffic.
CANU meanwhile, in a statement, said its officers conducted an operation at East Coast Demerara, and the vehicle, which was being driven by a 25-year-old of Vigilance Housing Scheme, East Coast Demerara, drove into Buxton and evaded the officers on several occasions, including at a roadblock on Buxton public road. This led to its pursuit and the discovery of 12 parcels of cannabis, which amounted to 23.2kgs which has a street value of $7 million.

The truck that was set on fire

According to CANU, members of the public in Buxton became hostile, assaulted several officers, and damaged several of the unit’s vehicles in an attempt to free the man who was arrested by pulling him out of the CANU vehicle. This resulted in several shots being discharged in the air. (G9)