Some eight persons including two women were arrested yesterday following a multi-million dollar robbery at Lot 721 Cummings Lodge, East Coast Demerara.
Businessman Mohamed Shazam Khan, along with his two brothers, was robbed over US$17,500, $140,000 in local currency and multiple cell phones. Khan and his brothers own and operate a general store at Sixth Street, Cummings Lodge, ECD.
Recounting his ordeal Khan said that it was about 05:00hrs when he heard his brothers shouting for “thief”. The man said his brothers were outside preparing to go to Lethem to transact business. Khan told Kaieteur News that he peeped through a window and saw his two brothers fighting with the three bandits. He remained inside and bolted his door because he was not sure whether other bandits were in the yard preparing to force their way into his home.
Meanwhile, outside, the brothers were fighting with the robbers. Khan said that during the struggle one of the three bandits fired a shot, but missed everyone.
According to Khan, two of the bandits broke free and ran away, while another picked up the bag containing the money and headed in another direction. He said that neighbours came and the chase after the bandits began. At the same time a call was placed to the police. People in the neighbourhood shouted that the bandits had just run past.
The chase took the people in the community to Plaisance and to the East Coast Demerara Public Road. The pursuers found nothing. They returned to the community and as luck would have it the brothers and the police received certain information and went to a house just about two corners away from where a second robbery had occurred.
About an hour earlier, the same bandits had entered a home not far away and after beating the people inside, proceeded to rob them of money and cellular phones before tying them up and fleeing. It was during the escape that they came upon the second victims—the Khans.
The police yesterday stated that it was about 04:30hrs when students Vivian Rookhum, 31, and his brother Frederick Cheong, 30, were at their home at Ninth Field, Cummings Lodge,. According to the police they were held up by two men who entered the building through an open door. The men were armed with a handgun and a cutlass. The armed men took away their jewellery, a laptop computer, two cell phones and a bicycle and escaped.
The bandits later left the bicycle at the Khans.
The house that the bandits used as a base is located at Fourth Street, Cummings Lodge. The pursuers saw a half pair of slippers that matched one left at the Khans. They also saw a green jersey that matched the clothing one of the fleeing bandits was wearing.
The police entered the property and arrested eight people. Kaieteur News was told that the police recovered a gun and when one of the ranks smelled the barrel he realized that it had been fired recently. The bag that contained the money was recovered, minus the stolen cash. It had been thrown over the fence at the back of the yard.
The police also found the remnants of more than 400 cell phones which were suspected to be stolen. These were in a carton. A burnt pile also had a large number of cellular phone casings and other parts. A number of household appliances, a motorcycle and motorcycle parts were among other things found.
The police also found a quantity of cocaine and marijuana in the house.
Khan yesterday said that it was probably the seventh time that he was robbed. It was only up to January that bandits had attacked his business. He said that even though he has applied for a firearm licence he has not been successful in getting it.
The police said that three of the men arrested have been identified as being perpetrators in the robberies.
Two of the men have been identified as being involved in the armed robbery on Mohamed Khan and one other identified in the armed robbery on Vivian Rookhum and Frederick Cheong. The arrested persons are all in police custody assisting with investigations.
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