Body of murdered seaman found at Wales koker
The body of 47-year-old Khemraj Dass, the seaman who was murdered and dumped into the Demerara River on Sunday, was found floating in an area near the Wales Police Station, West Bank Demerara, yesterday.
A search party of family members and friends found the decomposing remains near a koker.
Bharratt Dass, 42, a brother of the victim, called ‘Lakeram’ or ‘Lako’, of Bella Dam, Klein, Pouderoyen, said a fisherman directed them to the particular area. The fisherman had apparently seen the body since Monday but was too scared to report to the police.
“We search on Monday, but on the East Bank side of the river.”
Dass was reportedly bludgeoned and had his throat slashed by a 19-year-old fellow crewmember (the boat captain’s son) during a brief confrontation between the two while on a 30-foot vessel which was moored at the Didco wharf at Friendship, East Bank Demerara.
Following the report by the fisherman, the search party which had borrowed a boat from the tug’s owner, Ganesh Cheddie, a businessman from Pouderoyen, started scouring the western bank of the Demerara River.
It was around 10:00hrs in the vicinity of the Wales koker, not far from the police station, that the discovery of the body was made.
The remains were identified by Khemraj Dass’ brother. The body was later taken to the Marine section of the Guyana Police Force at Ruimveldt. The dead man’s brother said that the remains were then taken to the Lyken Funeral Parlour. The victim is likely to be laid to rest today following a post mortem.
Mr. Dass said that he last saw his brother about two years ago, but they communicated regularly by phone.
Police on Sunday detained the alleged killer, who sources said readily admitted to killing Dass, although the motive for the heinous crime is still unclear. The suspect, 19-year-old Gilbert Gill, is the son of the boat’s captain and resides at a community off the Soesdyke/Linden highway.
Police had said that large pools of blood on the vessel indicated that the seaman had indeed been brutally slain. There were wounds to the head and shoulders, and it was clear that Dass’ throat had been slashed.
The vessel, which was hauling a barge that was destined to carry lumber to a timber grant at Yaruni, Demerara River, is owned by Ganesh Cheddie, who operates a sawmill at Pouderoyen.
Kaieteur News was told that the captain had gone to rest at around 23:00 hrs on Saturday, leaving his son and Dass awake. He awoke shortly after midnight and asked his son to get a sheet for him. However, when his son stood and stared back without responding, the captain enquired about Dass’ whereabouts.
According to a source, the youth replied: “What you asking me about ‘Lako?’ I give he two lash, cut he throat and shove he overboard.”
Apparently not believing his son, the captain then went to one of the security guards at the Didco wharf and enquired whether Dass had left the compound. After being informed that the man had not seen Dass, the captain returned to the vessel, where his son reportedly again stated that he had killed ‘Lako’ and dumped him and the knife he (the son) had used overboard.
The captain then contacted the police who took the suspect into custody.