Year closes with several high-profile murders still unsolved
January 1, 2007
The year has come to an end, but the police are still to bring closure to a number of sensational murders including those of Talk Show host, Ronald Waddell and building contractor Gazz Sheermohamed.
The force is also yet to find the killers of architect and cycling coach, Maximillian Perreira and his reputed wife Marlis Archer who were gunned down outside their Duncan Street, Campbellville home in November.
Former Home Affairs Minister Gail Teixeira had expressed confidence in the police's ability to capture Waddell's killers, but to date no one has been charged.
Waddell's brother, Ovid Smith told this newspaper recently that he was not surprised that his brother's murderers were still on the run. Smith said the police were not making any serious efforts to find the killers, adding that they had leads to follow but never did. Smith said he believed Waddell's killers were from a notorious criminal gang and were paid executioners.
It was around 8 pm on January 30 while Waddell was in his car on the bridge of his Subryanville home that the unknown gunmen pounced. According to reports, three men exited a dark-coloured vehicle and used long, rapid-fire guns. Residents of the area reported seeing flashes of light, which indicated that sophisticated tracer bullets were used. Waddell was hit by thirteen bullets, which connected to his head and other parts of his body.
The police had initially arrested freed murder accused, Shawn Hinds and two siblings of dead 'hitman' Axel Williams, but all three men were later released. A city-based killing squad had also been reportedly linked to the execution and the police had said that they were exploring that lead.
There had been speculation about a tit-for-tat reaction from supporters of the talk show host which did not materialise. On the contrary, Waddell's relatives and supporters have remained mostly silent since his death. Smith said this was because they were living in a dangerous society and did not want to raise their voices as they are afraid of being killed. Smith added that his brother was fighting for justice and he knew that by doing so he would have died so he was prepared for it.
Waddell's execution was followed by the brutal assault on eight people by a large gang of heavily-armed gunmen at Agricola, East Bank Demerara on the night of February 26. Although police have linked the killings to the Buxton criminal gang, they have not charged anyone. The gunmen killed three security guards attached to the MMC Security Service: Sheldon Smartt, Cedric Dummett and Loris Semple; Hannah Cameron and her reputed husband David Brummel and Cameron's grandson Fenton Rudder; Assistant Town Clerk, Lavern Scott-Garraway all of Agricola and Cecil Duncan of Kitty.
Police had assembled a team of detectives to investigate the slaughter, but apart from reporting that the Buxton gang had committed the act and that wanted man, Rondel Rawlins called 'Fineman' was behind the attack there has been no other development in this probe.
Meanwhile, close relatives of Perreira recently told this newspaper that the dead man did not get along well with some persons close to him and they were suspicious that jealousy and greed might have been the motives for the murders. They said too that the couple's killing was done by contract.
Perreira had lived in London before remigrating to Guyana. He had ended his marriage with his first wife before becoming involved with Archer.
Perreira, according to relatives, had written to his lawyer in England on February 27, 2005 pointing out that a life insurance policy had been made out on him without his knowledge by a relative. He said in the letter, a copy of which was made available to this newspaper: "What makes me totally worried is that over a year or so ago a Guyanese agent in America was insuring Guyanese unknown to themselves, who were returning to Guyana for a visit. Those people were murdered here…."
Pereira further stated in his letter that the agent in the US had been caught and sentenced appropriately. He had also said that a relative, who he named, might be betting on his life hoping that he would catch a stray bullet or die from malaria as three of his friends died of that illness over the last three years.
Relatives had told this newspaper that they disclosed some of this information to local police and were calling on the investigators to make contact with Scotland Yard in England so that the officers could probe whether greed and jealousy were involved. Police however have not made any steps to contact Scotland Yard, but one of the investigators said that they were still working on the case and were looking for a man they want to question.
Reports were that Pereira, 63, and Archer, 43, were in their motor vehicle parked on their bridge. As they were about to disembark, the suspect approached on foot and fired several times at them, after which he got on a motorcycle ridden by an accomplice and escaped. The wounded couple was taken to the Georgetown Hospital where Archer was pronounced dead on arrival. Pereira, who was in a critical condition, received urgent medical attention, but died the next day.
Police have not arrested anyone in the killings, although investigators are seeking a man they would like to question.
Police are also still battling to find the person/s who gunned down one of Guyana's master builders, Gazz Sheermohamed.
Sheermohamed was gunned down on the evening of April 6 in the compound of the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School.
To date neither the police nor the contractor's relatives have been able to shed any light on what might have been the motive for his killing.
One of the reports police had received was that the contractor and a close associate were having problems over a property and payment of money.
Sheermohamed was the Managing Director of SA. Nabi and Sons Ltd and had built the new Caricom Secretariat building at Turkeyen. It is suspected that paid gunmen executed the man. Sheermohamed was hit by at least three bullets while sitting in his double-cab Toyota pick-up, PHH 6635, in the compound of the North Georgetown school. His killer/s did not take the money he had with him at the time. The school was in the process of being renovated by the company. Reports had indicated that a car drove into the compound behind Sheermohamed's vehicle as he was sitting in the front seat.
It passed his vehicle then turned around. One man exited the car, fired five shots at Sheermohamed then jumped back into the car, which sped away.
The murders of Agriculture Minister Satyadeow Sawh, two of his siblings and a security guard have also not yielded satisfactory answers. One man was charged with the murders two weeks ago, around nine months after they occurred. Several other men are still said to be wanted in connection with this case.