– victims dumped at Soesdyke, robbed of millions
A planned vacation by private school teacher Latchmin Gopaul and her husband began with a nightmare experience last Saturday, when two men in police uniforms abducted them while they were on their way to the Cheddi Jagan Airport.
Mrs. Gopaul, her husband, Lekraj Gopaul, and a taxi driver were held at gunpoint near Land of Canaan, East Bank Demerara, in broad daylight, by the two uniformed men, who claimed they were police ranks investigating an accident.
The victims were then driven to a desolate spot at Yarrowkabra, off the Soesdyke/Linden Highway, where they were bound and relieved of millions in local and foreign currency, jewellery and other valuables.
Kaieteur News understands that Mr. Gopaul, 59, was relieved of US $14,000, 400 pounds Sterling, a watch valued at $180,000, a gold chain valued at $180,000, a $71,000 watch, a camera worth US 1,200, a ring valued at $70,000 and his spectacles.
His wife, Latchmin Gopaul, who runs the Academy of Excellence Private School at Cornelia Ida, West Coast Demerara, was relieved of US $4,000, 500 pounds Sterling, $400 Can., a $500,000 gold band and a diamond-encrusted ring worth $300,000.
The bandits also relieved the driver, Parmanand Teekaram, of Cornelia Ida, West Coast Demerara, of $60,000 and a cell phone before reportedly escaping in a blue car.
Teekaram told Kaieteur News that he was heading to the airport at around 11.00 hrs on Saturday with the Gopauls, who reside at Hague, West Coast Demerara, when two men in police uniforms stopped him in the vicinity of Land of Canaan.
He said that one of the men was dressed in blue police attire and was carrying a handgun, while his companion was dressed like a ‘black clothes’ rank and had a ‘long gun’. According to Teekaram, the ‘policemen’ informed him that they were investigating a hit-and-run accident at Garden of Eden and asked to look at his driver’s licence and other documents.
According to Teekaram, the two ‘policemen’ then entered his car and the one in the ‘black clothes’ took the wheel. They then informed the occupants that they were taking them to the Timehri Police Station.
But the ‘cops’ then turned up the Soesdyke/Linden highway, while telling the trio that they were heading for Madewini Police Outpost instead.
Kaieteur News understands that during the journey, the ‘policemen’ asked Mr. Gopaul about ‘the cocaine’, and he responded that he and his wife ran a private school and knew nothing about ‘cocaine.’
The ‘policemen’ then took the Gopauls and Teekaram to a secluded spot near the abandoned glass factory at Yarrowkabra. There the ‘ranks’ tied up their three captives and relieved them of their valuables. However, Kaieteur News understands that the Gopauls were allowed to keep their travel documents. Teekaram said that he saw a blue car in the area and it is believed that the robbers fled in that vehicle.
The victims were eventually rescued by the occupants of a passing vehicle. According to reports, the Gopauls flew out of the country immediately after their ordeal.
Kaieteur News was unable to ascertain whether police have made any arrests.
There has been an apparent upsurge in persons being robbed while heading to the Cheddi Jagan Airport or returning from overseas.
Just last Wednesday, Pastor Sewnauth Poonalall of the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church was gun-butted and robbed shortly after returning from the airport with some overseas guests.
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