Jul 09, 2013 News
…four in custody
A handyman was shot dead while his employer was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) after sustaining gunshot wounds during a daring robbery in Kingston early yesterday.
The shooting occurred around 08:15 hours in the vicinity of Water and Cowan Streets, Kingston.
Dead is 72-year-old Victor Da Silva of Covent Garden, East Bank Demerara. He sustained about four gunshot wounds about his body.
His employer, proprietor of Gajadhar Service Station, Cecil Albert Gajadhar, 71, of Foulis, East Coast Demerara, sustained a gunshot wound to his left abdomen and another to his face. He has been hospitalized and is in stable condition at GPHC.
Late last night, a jeep load of TSU ranks, acting on information went to the Princess International Hotel and took four men into custody.
According to reports, the businessman left home early yesterday with his security guard to make a deposit at Republic Bank. As he turned south into Water Street, from Cowan Street, two gunmen ran in front his vehicle and opened fire, killing Da Silva on the spot.
One of the gunmen then opened the back door of Gajadhar’s Honda CR-V bearing registration number PPP9691, and grabbed a haversack containing some $8M and escaped.
According to the injured businessman’s wife, Lorymell Gajadhar, after he was shot he managed to drive his vehicle about a mile from the robbery scene, to the Water Street Branch of Republic Bank where he pleaded with a security guard to open the gate. The security guard who knows the businessman reportedly responded favourably to the request.
An eyewitness to the robbery and shooting said that he attempted to help Gajadar but the man said that he was going to make it and drove away with his dead handyman.
But the badly wounded businessman reportedly soon realized that the bank was not the place for him and that he would be better off at the hospital. All the while, Da Silva was slumped in the front passenger seat. He was dead.
Gajadar reportedly tried to flag down a taxi to take him to the hospital but according to reports, many persons were apprehensive after seeing the businessman’s blood soaked clothes.
“Thankfully, a Good Samaritan who knows him saw him and assisted in taking him to the hospital,” Gajadhar’s wife told Kaieteur News.
“He walked into the emergency room by himself. He has a strong heart,” she added.
Mrs Gajadhar said that she cannot point fingers at anyone although it is obvious that her husband’s movements were closely monitored.
She said that on several occasions last week a number of men on motorcycles, had frequented their fuel station at Foulis and threatened the now dead handyman.
She also mentioned that within recent times her husband had become very security conscious, changing his routine when it comes to the movement of his cash, frequently.
“He tries to stagger his timings. They (bandits) had to be waiting for him since God make morning,” Mrs. Gajadhar declared.
The distraught woman said that her husband told her at the hospital that he noticed two cars following him– one at the back and one at the front —but he could not say from where.
“He told me that he saw these two cars following him.
One of the number plates was PNN28 but he said that the PNN was big and the 28 was small. He told me that he even told Da Silva about the number plate and he said that it look fake. When he reach on Water Street, the cars blocked his path,” the businessman’s wife said.
When asked if her husband would normally take that route in the morning, she said, “Most of the time he does because it is away from traffic.”
Yesterday, when Kaieteur News visited the scene, an eyewitness who asked not to be named said that he saw when the businessman turned west from Cowan Street, heading south on Water Street, Kingston.
“I see a golden colour hire car parked in front of the Molasses Company with a driver sitting inside and when I looked up the road, I see two men standing at the koker (Kingston) waiting on this Honda,” the eyewitness related.
He explained that when the businessman approached the koker, the two gunmen ran in front the vehicle and opened fire.
“All I see is that them men stand there and start shooting ‘bow, bow, bow’ and they opened the vehicle door and take out the bag with money and run straight into the parked car,” the eyewitness said. Persons are of the belief that the gunmen may have got their information from an insider. “How would they know where this man would be driving, and is not like if they followed him because this car was parked here, waiting on him,” the eyewitness noted.
A taxi driver told this publication that he was heading south on Water Street when he pulled in a corner to give another car a pass. “I pulled in a corner and just as this car was about to pass, I hear gunshots. All I could have done was run out the car to find shelter.”
When Kaieteur News contacted Da Silva’s relatives, his granddaughter, Marian, said that they received a call around 10:30am yesterday informing them that the elderly man was involved in a serious accident.
“The caller told us to check the mortuary at GPHC or the Accident and Emergency Unit,” the granddaughter told this newspaper. She explained that Da Silva was working with the businessman for a number of years.
“He leaves at 04:00 every morning to go to the gas station and he would return at 05:30 in the afternoon,” Marian said.
On November 19, 2011, the businessman, his wife and Da Silva were attacked and robbed at gunpoint by three armed men. Da Silva was beaten and the gunmen managed to escape with more than $5.5M in cash.
On March 26, last, Gajadar was again attacked but this time police managed to catch his attacker before he escaped and the businessman retrieved his $4.5M. The attack occurred in front the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Camp Street.
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