CANU, Police in blame game

first_imgOIA sexual assault…family seeking legal adviceTop officials from the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) have withdrawn themselves from the alleged sexual assault perpetrated on a teen at the Ogle International Airport (OAI).A 17-year-old girl was alleged to have been cavity searched over the weekend as she was about to depart Guyana for Barbados. In the process, she was sexually assaulted.While Head of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), Major General (Retd) Michael Atherly, has acknowledged receiving a report of the incident, the top CANU official has denied that one of his officers was responsible.Atherly told Guyana Times on Monday that the offence was carried out by a member of the GPF, whom he claimed allegedly conducted the search of the passenger’s cavity.Contacted on Monday, ‘C’ Division Commander Eon Cooper also denied having knowledge that a Police rank was responsible for the act. He brushed aside allegations that the rank is under close arrest, but said he received reports surrounding the matter and an investigation has been launched.Efforts to contact Head of the Criminal Investigations Department, Assistant Commissioner Paul Williams, proved futile.A close relative of the young lady has said the family is seeking professional/legal advice on the matter, and, as such, declined to comment further.If the Policewoman is found culpable, she stands to be demoted, fined, or dismissed from the GPF.The female teen was in process of visiting her relatives on Sunday when she allegedly was subjected to a “strip search” by officers at the airport before being placed in a room.It was there that a female officer allegedly inserted her “finger” in the girl’s private parts. The law enforcement rank reportedly asked the teen to “spread out and cough”.But Atherly has already condemned the officer’s actions as he stated that the search done on the teenager was carried out in an improper manner.This incident is being seen as important given the Shanique Myrie case which saw her being paid US$38,000 by the Barbadian Government after she alleged that she was sexually assaulted and raped by a female immigration officer in Barbados during a cavity search.Myrie was awarded damages by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) after she filed a lawsuit claiming she was subjected to a dehumanising cavity search by the female immigration officer at Grantley Adams International Airport, locked in a filthy room overnight, and deported to Jamaica in March 2011.last_img

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