September 25, 2023

Cayman: Police renew appeal for witnesses in Bananas death

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From RCIPS Dec 13 2019

Update (13 December): SEE END OF ARTICLE FOR Photos of Potential Witnesses

Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the incident which resulted in the death of 36-year-old Dinesh Asanka Fernando Wannukawatta-Waduge from Sri-Lanka. Dinesh died following an assault at Bananas Bar in Dolphin Plaza on Eastern Avenue early Saturday morning, 30 November.

Three men have been charged in relation to the incident and a court case is ongoing.

“Unfortunately we are still in urgent need of witnesses into this matter. Even following the appeal that was made last week by Deputy Commissioner Walton, no additional witnesses have come forward to assist us,” said Detective Superintendent Pete Lansdown. “There were probably around 100 people at the location on the night of the incident and we know that about 20 persons were in a position to actually witness the incident. We’ve had to put in as much effort to find witnesses as we’ve had to in order to find and identify the suspects in this case.”

After reviewing CCTV footage, RCIPS detectives have pinpointed seven potential witnesses who they would like to identify and speak to. Photos of these persons are included at the end of this release.

“One or two extra witnesses could make the difference between a successful conviction or an acquittal,” said Superintendent Lansdown. “If you recognize yourself in one of these images, please contact us. And if you see someone who you know, please encourage them to come forward. If you have information but are concerned about coming forward for any reason, please contact us and we will take whatever steps we can to address your concerns.”

“At the end of the day it is up to the local community to play their part in maintaining law and order. If people do not come forward when they witness criminality, then that provides an opening for criminality to go unchecked and even increase. As police it is our job to investigate and prosecute, but we cannot do that effectively if the public doesn’t play their part.

Once again I want to appeal to everyone to put yourself in the shoes of the family that Dinesh has left behind. His daughter and wife deserve to have the truth. They deserve to see justice served. But even more than that, when incidents like this occur, it is our collective responsibility to do the right thing in response.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the RCIPS Major Incident Room at 649-2930.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously via the Miami-based call centre of Crime Stoppers at 800-8477(TIPS), or online.

Update (6 December):

One of the men arrested in relation to the below incident, age 24 of Cayman Brac, has been charged with Assault ABH. The other two men, ages 20 and 22 of George Town, have been charged with Manslaughter.

They are appearing in court this morning, 6 December.

Police continue to appeal for witnesses to this incident to contact the RCIPS Major Incident Room, at 649-2930.

Update (3 December):

Police can now confirm the identity of the man who died following an incident at Bananas Bar in Dolphin Plaza on Eastern Avenue early Saturday morning, 30 November. He is Dinesh Asanka Fernando Wannukawatta-Waduge, age 36, a Sri-Lankan national working in Cayman.

The RCIPS expresses condolences to the family of the deceased.

Three men, ages 20 and 22 of George Town, and 24 of Cayman Brac, have been arrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the incident. They remain in custody as the investigation continues.

RCIPS detectives have been reviewing CCTV footage taken during the incident, and have determined that there was an altercation at the location shortly before the man’s death.  Detectives are aware that several persons were at the location at the time and witnessed the altercation and may be able to provide much needed assistance in the investigation.

“The victim in this senseless and tragic incident was a hard-working man who simply wanted to provide for his family back in Sri Lanka. His death leaves behind a wife suffering from a life-threatening illness, and a four-year-old daughter who is now facing the prospect of losing both parents,” said Deputy Commissioner Kurt Walton. “What is also truly sad is that, although we know there were dozens of people at the location at the time, not one person has come forward to assist us in this investigation. We know that if this were your parent or family member, you would want someone to come forward to help.  All we ask is put yourself in this family’s shoes, contact us and help us get to the truth.”

The RCIPS is appealing to anyone who was at the location at or around 3:30AM to contact the investigative team at the RCIPS Major Incident Room, at 649-2930.

Initial Release (30 November):

Just before 3:40AM police and other emergency services were dispatched to Bananas Bar, Dolphins Plaza on Eastern Avenue where it was reported that there was a person in distress.

An unresponsive man was found at the location was found and transported by the ambulance to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Circumstances surrounding this incident are still unclear and detectives are seeking the assistance of witnesses who were present and can provide an insight as to what took place.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the George Town Police Station at 949-4222. 

Anonymous tips can be provided directly to the RCIPS via our Confidential Tip Line at 949-7777 or via the Miami-based call centre of Crime Stoppers at 800-8477(TIPS), or online.

13 December Update – Photos of Potential Witnesses:

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