The MMC Security Force in a statement yesterday claimed that contrary to reports, it indeed sent an armed Power Patrol team to check on the L. Seepersaud Maraj Stabroek Market location, after receiving electronic alarm signals.
After Tuesday’s discovery of a multi-million gold and diamond jewelry heist at the L. Seepersaud Maraj & Sons jewellery stall in the Stabroek Market, there has been much speculation surrounding how the heist was executed. There were so many layers of security, which seemed to have failed.
The jewellery stall that has been in the Stabroek Market for over six decades, was said to have been secured on the last day of business of the market, last week. It was further checked on Sunday and the owners found the stall still secured.
This was not the case on Tuesday morning at 07:00 hrs when an employee of a neighbouring stall, turned up to find a vault housed in the jewellery stall torched, and the door ajar.
The padlocks for the grill that secured the stall from front were cut and the grill wrenched open. There were a bag at the scene and a jersey. There was also the equipment used to torch the vault. That included gas bottles and a torch.
The vault is a walk-in vault. Before that vault could be accessed, there is a quarter inch steel-plated door that is secured by multiple locks. Then the vault door has a combination locking system.
The vault itself carries 12-inch thick walls and is fireproof. There was also an electronic alarm system monitored by MMC Security Force that the bandits would have had to contend with. The market is usually secured in the night and monitored by constables that are attached to the City Police.
This had the proprietors pondering how such a heist can be achieved without the market security having a clue. Some staff were adamant that it was an inside job, since they claim that it would take over five hours to cut all the locks and torch the safe, and there was no evidence of a break-in to the market itself, to their knowledge. There was supposed to be City Police securing the market.
In a statement late on Tuesday afternoon, the proprietors of Seepersaud Maraj & Sons, said, “ We have consulted with several Security Specialists and others trained in ironwork and welding, and we have been informed that it would have taken no less than five hours for the vaults to be cut open.
“We have spoken directly to two city Constables who claimed that checks were done earlier in the market but nothing was discovered.
“As stall owners operating under market rules, we have no choice but to depend on the City Constabulary for security whenever the market is closed. At the time of writing this, we have not been contacted by anyone from the Mayor and City Council’s Office or the Town Clerk’s Office.
“We are surprised at the lack of care and diligence by the City Constabulary in not observing that such an elaborate crime was being perpetuated over so many hours.”
Additionally, the stall was secured with an alarm system that was being monitored by the MMC Security Force.
“We contacted the MMC Security Force late (Tuesday) afternoon and we were informed that the alarm was indeed set off three times last night. However, MMC never informed us nor the police that the alarms went off. On every other occasion, whenever the alarm is set off, MMC would call us immediately and the fact that we never received any calls or reports from them is puzzling.”
This was followed yesterday by MMC Security Force. “We regret making a public statement about a client’s confidential security matters, but we feel obligated to correct the false statements made in some recent media reports about the robbery at L. Seepersaud Maraj & Sons Jewellery.
“Upon receiving electronic alarm signals from L. Seepersaud Maraj and Sons Stabroek Market location, MMC Security Force made calls to the telephone numbers provided by our client. We have verified this with GTT’s records. Those calls were not answered.
“As per operating procedure, we dispatched an armed Power Patrol team to the client’s location. Unfortunately, our team was unable to gain access to the Stabroek Market after normal business hours.”
If indeed an armed Patrol from the MMC Security Force did go to the Stabroek Market after receiving electronic alarm signals, it even creates more speculation about what transpired.
“Where were the City Police constables that were supposed to be securing the market? Did members of the armed Patrol attempt to contact the City Police? Why did the police not see the security patrol?
The police have since taken six persons into custody as investigations continue.
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