Bel Air Park multi-million$$$ heist… Seven remanded
Seven of the eight people that were arrested following the daring robbery at businessman Malcolm Panday’s residence at Bel Air on Tuesday, were arraigned yesterday at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court. Among those charged was a University of Guyana final year Civil Engineering student.
Charged with the offence of robbery were Mr. Panday’s mother-in-law, Chandrada Rampersaud; Hardat Kumar, 23, of Owen Street, Kitty; ex-policeman Sean Hinds, 40, of 552 East Ruimveldt Housing; Jermaine Mitchell, 20, of YY 15 North East La Penitence, a porter at the Continental Company; Rabindra Seemangal, 20, 100 Sheriff Street; Aubrey Simon, 21, 1414 Princes Street; and Rayon Jones of Lot 2 Hardina Street, Wortmanville, were not required to plead to the indictable offence of robbery under arms. Absent from yesterday’s proceedings was Kevin Maloney who was arrested on Queen Street minutes after the robbery.
It was alleged that on July 12, at Bel Air they robbed Anne Ramsood of $7.4M property of Malcolm Panday.
Another charge stated that Jermaine Mitchell, Rabindra Seemangal, Aubrey Simon and Rayon Jones robbed Anne Ramsood of one Blackberry curve cell phone valued at $47,000 and $380,000 cash.
A separate charge against Aubrey Simon stated that on July 12, he had in his possession eight rounds of 9mm ammunition.
Another charge against him stated that on the same day he had in his possession one unlicensed 9mm pistol.
It was further alleged that Simon fraudulently used identification mark PKK 3700, on a motorcar. Police Prosecutor Steve Harvey told the court that police investigations revealed that the mother-in-law was once employed at the home as a house keeper, but was fired and subsequently told a cousin about the monies the Pandays kept in the house.
The court was told that all the defendants started planning the robbery.
According to the prosecutor, Simon is the registered owner of one of the vehicles that the police towed away from the hotel compound.
The court was told that the suspects went to the home armed with guns and proceeded to rob Anne Ramsood.
According to Harvey, Panday managed to slip away from the home to call the police. He further told the court that the “getaway” car was spotted and the police gave chase after it.
The defendants were eventually cornered in the Ocean Spray Hotel compound and arrested.
Rampersaud and Hinds were represented by attorney at law Vic Puran who stated that no money was found on Hinds.
Puran said that both of his clients were charged because of the statement of a co-accused, which according to him could not be used. The lawyer argued that there is no evidence against any of his clients. He asked that they be placed on bail.
Attorney at law George Thomas represented Aubrey Simon. He said that his client is a final year student at the University of Guyana pursing a degree in Civil Engineering. He made the application for Simon to be examined by a doctor since according to the lawyer his client received a “sound trashing”.
He asked for an early date for the continuation of the matter. The prosecutor said that he was objecting to bail because of the seriousness of the offence.
Harvey said that the persons broke into the home of the Pandays and used a gun to rob the family.
He said they were positively identified by Ramsood as the persons who committed the act.
Addressing the issues raised by Puran, the prosecutor said that they will be seeking legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The police had reported on Tuesday that Mr. Panday was with his wife, Anne Ramsood, their children and domestic employees at around 11:30 hrs, when the gunmen forced their way into the premises.
However, the businessman, who owns a chain of clothing stores, managed to slip away to a neighbour’s home and summoned the police.
Two of the men forced the businessman’s wife to open a safe from where they took an undisclosed sum of local and foreign currency before escaping in a waiting motor car bearing registration plates PKK 3700. But the police, who responded quickly, intercepted the vehicle in the Ocean Spray Hotel compound in Kitty.
Three of the suspects were arrested and a 9mm pistol, ammunition and cash were recovered.
Further investigations led to the interception of motor car PMM 9436 at Front Road, West Ruimveldt, Georgetown, the arrest of three other men, and the recovery of more of the stolen money.