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Deputy CANU Chief shot dead in car
By Shirley Thomas

Senior Superintendent Vibert Inniss

DEPUTY Head of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), Senior Superintendent Vibert Inniss was early yesterday gunned down in what appeared to be a planned hit at Buxton, East Coast Demerara.

RIDDLED with bullet holes: the car driven by Vibert Inniss when he was executed.

His lifeless body, riddled with bullet wounds, was later removed from his blood-spattered car by Police.

Police were reportedly looking for a woman who might be able to assist them in their investigations.

SOLDIERS on patrol following the slaying of the CANU official yesterday.

Reports said that shortly before 06:00 hrs, Inniss, in his mid-forties, was proceeding west along the Buxton Public Road in his motorcar PHH 6436 when he stopped in the vicinity of Company Road to purchase newspaper from a vendor. This was something he reportedly did regularly.

Unconfirmed reports said that a female who was with him in the car got out to get the newspaper while he waited for her to return.

As Inniss sat waiting in the parked car, a white motor vehicle, licence plate unknown, drove up from behind.

Police said a man emerged from the car and opened fire on the senior CANU official who was shot several times.

The first shots were fired from the right side of Inniss' car, hitting him in the head, face, shoulders, and other parts of the body.

But even as the badly wounded officer slumped in the seat of his car, the gunmen did not cease firing.

According to witnesses, the assailants fired on both sides of the car, discharging three rounds from the front which penetrated the windscreen, inflicting deadly wounds on Inniss.

The men then got back into their car and escaped.

Reports said the woman who had left to buy the newspaper also fled.

Police recovered several spent war shells form the crime scene, and his motor car. These have been sent for ballistic examination, and the vehicle lodged at the Vigilance Police Station, East Coast Demerara.

Reports said that shells were recovered from several war heads, indicating that the shooting was not done by a lone gunman.

Meanwhile, the Guyana Defence Force, in collaboration with the Police Force quickly set up a roadblock in the vicinity of the Industrial Engineering Ltd (IEL), Good Hope, East Coast Demerara as they moved to find clues in relation to the shooting.

The law enforcement officer, who served in the Narcotics Division of the Police Force for several years, was a member of CANU for about the last six years.

During his time at CANU, he was reported to have done several training courses, and received several commendations.

By virtue of his creditable performance, he rose to the rank of Acting Head of the Unit in the absence of CANU Chief, Mr. Freddie Truman who is currently abroad, officials said.

He leaves to mourn, his wife Mrs. Vibert Inniss, children and other relatives.

Yesterday's execution of Superintendent Inniss occurred just a few weeks following an attack on CANU headquarters on Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown.

In that attack, concussion grenades were hurled into the compound by gunmen in a white car, who also opened fire on the buildings, causing considerable damage.

Several vehicles in the compound were seriously damaged but no one was reported wounded.

Inniss is the ninth law enforcement officer to have been gunned down in cold blood following the escape from the Georgetown Prison by five dangerous criminals on February 23, last.

On April 2, Police Superintendent Leon Fraser was brutally gunned down at Yarowkabra on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway as he and others mounted a search for armed and dangerous criminals.

Yesterday's killing also came just two weeks after a presumptuous shootout by bandits, wounding three Policemen in an Impact patrol vehicle just outside the Brickdam Police Station and the Ministry of Home Affairs in Georgetown on August 12. Those ranks have since been discharged from hospital.

Other Policemen slain in the six-month crime rampage were

Detective Sergeant Harry Kooseram who was shot and killed on April 15, while on his way to work at Vigilance Police Station;

Constable Sherwin Alleyne, one of a group of cops ambushed at Coldingen, East Coast Demerara on May 25;

Constable Andy Atwell, also executed as he stood at the entrance to the compound of the Alberttown Police Station on May 30;

 Constable Rawle Thomas of the Target Special Squad, shot while on duty in the vicinity of the Wismar Police Station on June 14, died on June 16;

 Corporal Adrian London - a member of the Brickdam Anti-Crime Squad - killed by a hail of bullets while on Joseph Pollydore Street, Lodge on July 11 last;

 Constables Ramphal and Outar Kissoon of Rose Hall, Corentyne who were shot dead when bandits staged a two-and-a-half hour siege and shootout on July 21, forcing another Policeman and a businessman into the lockups at the Police outpost.

Several other Policemen have also been wounded in the upsurge of crime.

Several business people have been killed too by the bandits who have also been targeting security guards.

The slaying of the CANU official came just two days following the first in a series of national consultation meetings on the critical issue of the proliferation of crime in the country.

That meeting, chaired by Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Ronald Gajraj, was held at the Ocean View Convention Centre, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara on Thursday.

The national consultation meetings are being held in response to the current crime wave and its impact on Guyanese, both locally and abroad, and as mandated by President Bharrat Jagdeo earlier, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon said.

Those in attendance at Thursday's session included representatives of political parties, the religious community, labour, the private sector and security firms.

Sunday, August 25, 2002