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Todate, 20 police ranks have been killed either in the line of duty or while off-duty. Of these 6 were murdered in Buxton.
Research has indicated that on April 15th, 2002, the first police rank, Det Sergeant Harry Kooseran, was killed in Buxton. He was gunned down while cycling to the Vigilance Police Station, on the East Coast of Demerara. Six bullets were pumped into his body.
Deputy Head of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), Senior Superintendent Vibert Inniss was gunned down on August 24 2002 in the center of Buxton, in what appeared to be a planned hit. His killers struck when he stopped in the violence-prone village to purchase newspaper. A reward $2M was later offered by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for any information regarding his death.
Police constable Feroze Bashir was shot as he was talking to his girlfriend on the Sideline Dam in Buxton. He was off-duty and while sitting on a motorcycle, an unidentified male approached and shot him.
Police constable Nankumar Mohabir was fatally shot on January 8 2003, when gunmen opened fire on a police mobile patrol at the junction of the Buxton Public Road and Brusche Dam..
On February 4 2003, Constable Ronald Abel was shot by five armed gunmen on Ogle Street, Friendship, adjoining Buxton.
In a bid to avert a robbery, Sergeant Walton Brummel of the Target Squad Unit (ISU) was shot while he tried to stop bandits from robbing passengers in a mini-bus, the vehicle has stopped in Buxton to pick up passengers.
Claims were made by the Opposition Party PNC/R that Government was attacking Buxtonians. The political party claims that Buxtonians were being marginalized, and one reason given for the attacks on civilians was the lack of job opportunities. However, on April 10, 2002, a camp was discovered and a relative of Andrew Douglas, a criminal on the police most wanted list, was arrested in Buxton
Unfortunately, the evidence is overwhelming. Over the period of a year, Buxton was converted into a refuge for criminals and a haven for their activities. Below are some of the brazen and gruesome incidents that occurred in Buxton over the period of 10 months:
June 28: wanted criminal Kwame Pindleton shot dead in a confrontation with police.
August 3: three heavily armed bandits beat and rob a Buxton fisherman of an undisclosed sum of money on the Buxton Sideline Dam.
August 7: gunmen torched 2 Friendship homes and terrorize residents with gunfire.
September 27: two Berbicans, Seeram Poodass and Cecil Sahadeo, shot dead by gunmen while traveling in a taxi along the Buxton Public Road.
October 27; Caldeo Ganesh kidnapped and his body was discovered a few days later in Buxton.
October 30: Motilall, a cane cutter from Annandale, kidnapped by armed teenagers from Buxton. He was killed the next day, after a $20M ransom was demanded.
March 5: Doodnauth Sharma kidnapped from his Agricola home where his wife Maria Sharma was shot in the leg. However, Sharma reportedly escaped from his kidnappers who took him into Buxton.
March 24: Trinidadian Kenrick Babaalall kidnapped while carrying out works at Annandale. He was released after a ransom $2M was paid.
April 09: Another Trinidadian, who was identified as Lalchand was kidnapped by gunmen operating near Buxton. His abductors released him hours later after collecting a $5M ransom.
April 12: US diplomat Stephen Lesniak kidnapped from the Lusignan Golf Course and held captive in Buxton. He was released the following day after an undisclosed sum of money was paid in return for his release.
Brian Hamilton, owner of Hamilton’s Gas Station in Buxton was gunned down in his office. He and his family provided a valuable service to the community.
Recognizing not merely the trauma to victims of these violent crimes, but also the debilitating effect on law abiding residents of Buxton, President Bharrat Jagdeo indicated in an interview with GINA that he had instructed the Police and the Army to clean out the situation in Buxton. However, there has not been any major success in curbing crime in that community. Similar sentiments were echoed by Police Commissioner (Ag) Floyd McDonald at the Police Officers Conference on April 24 last, when he urged ‘togetherness’ in the fight against crime. The acting Police Commissioner reiterated that co-operation from the public is needed in a committed manner to curb crime.
The GINA report noted that the 2003 budget $7.2B allocated to maintenance of law and order.
In a recent statement the PNC/R affirmed that Buxton is a haven for criminals. General Secretary of the political party, Oscar Clarke conceded that bodies of criminals on the police wanted list were often found in Buxton, the latest being Shawn Gittens. (GOVERNMENT INFORMATION AGENCY -GINA)