Bel Air robbery accused to get trial date at next hearing
On June 1, next, persons charged for the brazen multi-million-dollar heist at the Bel Air Park home of businessman Malcolm Panday, will receive a date for the commencement of their trial. The matter is being heard summarily.
Mother-in-law of the victim, Chandrada Rampersaud, and Jermaine Mitchell, Hardat Kumar and Aubrey Simon faced Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine- Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Two others Rayon Jones and Rabindra Seemangal are also involved in the matter. Another, ex- policeman Shawn Hinds had charges against him withdrawn. According to police, the Director of Public Prosecutions had advised that enough evidence did not exist to uphold the charges, against the ex-cop.
Defence Attorneys Vic Puran, George Thomas and Senior Counsel Bernard De Santos appeared for the four who went to court yesterday. De Santos addressed the court and asked for a short time to put certain things in place.
The matter was brought before the courts on July 15, last year. The police had informed that certain actions were being taken and that they were awaiting certain instructions from superiors.
Early last week, Seemangal pleaded guilty to all the charges against him. Again, certain steps are being taken in light of this new information.
The court however wished for no further delays in the matter. The magistrate requested that all parties have the relevant statements and information on the matter so that a date could be fixed at the next hearing.
Eight persons were arrested for the robbery, but only seven were charged. When Hinds had his matter withdrawn, six persons were left to answer to armed robbery committed against Anne Ramsood and her husband Malcolm Panday.
Pandy is said to be the owner of a chain of clothing stores.
It was alleged that on July 12, last, at Bel Air, the accused robbed Ramsood of $7.4M. Jermaine Mitchell, Rabindra Seemangal, Aubrey Simon and Rayon Jones were charged for robbing Ramsood of one Blackberry Curve cell phone valued at $47,000 and $380,000 cash at the said location on the same day.
Aubrey Simon faced separate charges. It is alleged that on the same day he had in his possession eight rounds of 9mm ammunition. He was also accused of having an unlicensed 9mm pistol. The police further said that Simon fraudulently used an identification mark on a motorcar which was reportedly used in the heist.
Other charges inclusive of gun and ammunition possession were laid against the other accused.
In the first court appearance, the prosecution alleged that Chandrada Rampersaud, was once employed at the victims’ home as a house keeper, but was fired. They said that she subsequently told a cousin about the money the Pandays kept in the house and the defendants started planning the robbery.
On the day in question masked men stormed the businessman’s home with guns and held up the family and the domestic staff. The woman of the house was forced to open a safe which contained an undisclosed amount of local and foreign currencies that the gunmen reportedly made off with.
Panday managed to escape the robbers and called for police assistance. Given a description of the vehicles used by the suspects, the police intercepted a car at Front Road, West Ruimveldt, Georgetown. Another car was cornered at the Ocean Spray Hotel compound after the police gave chase.
Seemangal is currently in police custody but the other accused persons are out on bail.