Feb 06, 2017 News
– six other gangs smashed, new ones have sprung up, says Crime Chief
By Michael Jordan
An individual who was recently freed on a murder charge is the mastermind behind some of the recent attacks on persons uplifting cash from commercial banks.
Police Intelligence also indicates that the robbers comprise a group of men, who are “randomly selecting their victims”, Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum disclosed this week.
Blanhum said that the gangs have taken the place of several others that the police have dismantled.
“Police have so far dismantled six groups. The perpetrators are now in jail, but more persons are motivated to commit that sort of crime,” Blanhum said.
There has been concern that some low-level bank employees may be colluding with the robbers, but Blanhum said that there was “No evidence that bank tellers are involved.”
“We have some intelligence that we are working on. The tellers are not involved. It is a group of men randomly selecting targets (and) police are currently looking for a ring leader who was recently freed of a murder charge committed on a businessman.”
There have been at least eight attacks on persons leaving commercial banks between May 2016 and January 2017.
Five of the victims, including one woman, were shot during the robberies, which were committed by individuals in cars and motorcycles.
At least five of the victims had done transactions at the Republic Bank’s Water Street and Camp Street branches.
One victim was attacked after leaving the Demerara Bank Limited at Diamond, East Bank Demerara and one after leaving Scotia Bank in Robb Street.
In May, 2016, a businessman had just left the Demerara Bank Limited at Diamond, East Bank Demerara, when he observed a white Toyota Spacio, with three men inside, trailing his vehicle.
After the car appeared to trail him to two other locations, the businessman sought refuge at a Land of Canaan, East Bank Demerara location, and contacted the police.
They arrived and arrested the suspects, two of whom were said to be known ‘truckers’.
On December 10, 2016, 29-year-old contractor John Brian uplifted some $3M from the Republic Bank in Water Street.
To ensure that he wasn’t being followed, Brian said that he boarded a bus, and exited at Lamaha Street and it was then that he saw two men walking briskly behind.
Suspecting that the men were robbers, the contractor ran into the Ministry of Finance compound.
But the men pursued Brian into the compound, shot him in the upper left thigh, and escaped with the cash in a white Toyota Premio, bearing registration number, PSS 4570.
It was last December, also, that businessman Kenneth Earle, 39, withdrew $4M from Scotia Bank on Robb Street, Georgetown.
Accompanied by a friend, Earle was about to exit his vehicle at a Prince William Street, Plaisance, East Coast Demerara house, when two gunmen attacked them.
The men discharged several rounds, hitting Earle to his legs. The robbers then relieved the injured man of his cash.
Women also found themselves targeted.
Last January, Barbara Waldrond uplifted a $2M payroll from the Republic Bank.
A group of men in a car trailed her to her Meadowbrook home, shot her in the arm, and escaped with the payroll.
Also in January, gunmen snatched $1.5M, a loaded firearm and three smartphones, from 41-year-old Elda Belle. Richard Bellamy, who was transporting the woman, was shot in the left leg.
Belle, a businesswoman in the mining sector, had uplifted the money from Republic Bank on Water Street.
Bandits escape with $6M after trailing woman from City bank
A few days later, Indranie Budhu, of Lot 31 Chateau Margot, uplifted some $6M from Republic Bank’s Water Street branch.
A taxi took her home, but as she was entering her yard, a man rushed in behind her and grabbed the money-bag. He fled in a car with an accomplice.
Some of the victims were not so fortunate.
In August, 2014, dredge owner Shyrazadi Ragghu and his wife stopped at a traffic light at the Regent Street and Vlissengen Road junction.
Two gunmen on a CG motorcycle shot Mr. Ragghu dead, shot his wife in the right thigh, and escaped with his money.
Jermaine Otto, 25, of 735 East Ruimveldt, Georgetown and Travis McDougall, were later charged with Ragghu’s murder.
In April, 2015, Fyuse Hussain, 64, a rice farmer and contractor, was shot in the head by bandits on a CG motorcycle.
In June, 2015 rice farmer, Hardat Kissoon, uplifted a sum of cash from a city bank.
But a bandit posing as a passenger shot him dead in a minibus.
It is believed that Kissoon was trailed by the bandit from a city bank to the Mahaica Bus Park after he had cashed a cheque.
Two men were subsequently charged for Kissoon’s murder.
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