– ‘A’ Division Commander urges businessmen to hire armed guards
Following a spate of brazen robberies in his division, Assistant Police Commissioner George Vyphuis is urging the business community to be more security conscious, particularly when transporting large sums of cash.
The A Division Commander made this plea the day after a lone gunman shot two gas station employees and fled with an undisclosed sum of cash.
Wahid Mohamed and Pierre Fordyce were attacked just as they were about to make a night deposit at the Citizen’s Bank branch in Mandela Avenue.
Fordyce, a security guard, was unarmed at the time. The filling station’s managers confirmed that they made nightly deposits at the same commercial bank because it was relatively near to the gas station’s Eccles, East Bank Demerara branch.
Reports suggest that the gunman and his accomplices were aware of the nightly transactions. The bandit who shot the employees was reportedly waiting near the bank for them to show up. A car with the gunman’s accomplices is believed to have trailed the victims to their destination.
“From my information, this (the nightly deposits) was the practice,” Commander Vyphuis told Kaieteur News on Saturday.
“People would have known of this practice. This whole situation could have been avoided.
“As much as you would like to accumulate profits from the day’s sales, you as a business person must pay some attention to your security. The pattern of banking should not remain the same.”
The Assistant Commissioner urged persons doing similar transactions to utilise security firms that are available.
“There are security services that provide that kind of service for night banking. No one who has been doing night banking with security firms has been robbed.
“We have a commitment to provide police protection, but all we are asking is that persons arrange for the use of armed guards.”
On April 15, businessman Ganesh Jaigobin of Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast, was shot in the arm and robbed of an undisclosed amount of money while conducting business transactions on Regent Street.
The gunman fled with an accomplice on a motorcycle.
Late last April, police sergeant Ransford Liverpool was shot in the face and abdomen by two gunmen who had snatched $2M from a cambio dealer’s wife near Avenue of the Republic.
The men fled on foot after discarding their bicycles.
On Friday last, a business couple from Vergenoegen, East Bank Demerara was held at gunpoint and robbed of $261,000 while transacting business at a Waterloo Street restaurant.
The robbers escaped in a car.
But similar attacks have also occurred in other divisions.
On New Year’s Day, Sean Craig, a resident of 57 Stanleytown, New Amsterdam, was slain by a gunman who was robbing the Mars Gas Station and variety store in New Amsterdam.
A suspect was subsequently arrested and charged.
Two days later, popular Linden businessman Albert Joseph, called ‘Bolo’, was shot in the stomach and side by a gunman at Bolo’s Variety Store at Lot 71 Sunflower Street, Wismar. The gunman reportedly fled with less than $10,000 and the victim’s gold chain.
Joseph succumbed four days later. A suspect has been charged.
In late March, gunmen killed security guard Solomon Burke and carted off four firearms, $100,000 and other items during an early morning raid on the Ogle Airport yesterday.
Around April 6, businesswoman Rajpattie Ramnarace was robbed of $1M by two masked gunmen just as she was entering her yard at Nigg Squatting Area, Corentyne.
Then, a few days ago, gunmen ambushed and killed businessman Bedi Ramjewan in Crown Dam, Industry, East Coast Demerara shortly after he had left a commercial bank in the city.
Friday’s attack on the gas station employees occurred on the same day that PNCR presidential candidate David Granger had observed that crime had hit the business community hard, while accusing the PPP/C administration of rejecting “numerous, well-reasoned recommendations” to bring the situation under control.
According to Granger, the PPP/C, had failed to act decisively against the causes of crime, and seems “content to roll out a number of fake policies which everyone knows simply don’t, won’t and can’t work.”
“The Force seems to be clueless about formulating a plan to staunch the influx of illegal firearms and about how to identify and counter the mushrooming of numerous amateur gangs,” Granger concluded.
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