As bandits continue to wreak havoc in Berbice, a hardworking rice farmer and his family, are unfortunately, the latest victims.
Lennox Ramcharran, 41, of Lot 15 Johanna South, Black Bush Polder, is nursing injuries to his head, while his wife, teenage daughter and son, who were also assaulted, are still traumatized.
Ramcharran told reporters that his 18-year-old daughter was held hostage until the bandits escaped after the nearly 30-minute ordeal.
At the rice farmer’s home in Black Bush Polder, a jeepload of armed police along with detectives had just concluded taking statements. Ramcharran sat with his injuries exposed and recounted that he had just returned from the backdam and was parking his tractors when he heard his dogs barking, “not like the usual barking”.
“After me seh ‘dem dogs nah bark so’ by time me turn around me see ah man run out from under the trailer and two more come and dem lash me down and start tie me up,” he recounted.
He added that his 21-year-old son who was upstairs retreated to the bottom flat and was calling out for him, but he could not answer, so his son ran back upstairs.
At that point, Ramcharran said the men dragged his almost six-foot tall figure up the steps with his hands and feet bound. “When dem carry me upstairs dem tek the gun and lash me in meh head and then blood start run out.” He said they demanded cash and jewellery and also tied up his family.
Ramcharran disclosed that they proceeded to ransack the entire house and began to thrash his daughter with the guns until she eventually gave the men whatever cash they had in the home. Over $300,000 in cash was stolen along with several pieces of gold jewellery.
The rice farmer said that when the men got the cash and jewellery, one of them yelled out “Police” and they grabbed his teenage daughter and held her hostage as they ran out of the yard – using her as a shield until they escaped. Several shots were fired, hitting two louvre windows on the farmer’s home.
Ramcharran said that himself, wife and son jumped over their verandah into the yard and ran out to locate the teen. “When we jump over and run and call fuh she, we see she running coming and crying, and me ask she if dem do she anything and she seh no, but she bin frighten.”
The police arrived shortly after on motorcycles, but residents claim that the police were just a street away when the incident took place.
It was disclosed that when Ramcharran’s relatives called for the police at the Mibicuri Station, they were told by a rank that there was no vehicle available to respond to the report. That, however, has caused outrage among reside
nts and the victims. A resident stated that the police are very active on motorcycles throughout the day “harassing people for a license for their motorcycles and machinery and so, but when you need them the most vehicle and so, not available”.
Kaieteur News understands that the police pick-up that was attached to the Mibicuri Police Station has been “out of operation for a while”. The station, however, has motorcycles and a mounted branch.
A previous Commander had taken the media on a tour to the mounted branch and had indicated then that the move was to add to the crime fighting in Black Bush Polder, given the type of terrain. It is unclear if it is still in operation.
Meanwhile, Feroze Service Station located at Number 6 Village, West Coast Berbice, was also pounced on by two armed men. The perpetrators, who were caught on surveillance footage, reportedly stole an undisclosed amout of cash from the two employees.
According to the proprietor of the business, Feroze Ishak, “the employees were robbed of whatever cash they had because the business is a 24-hour service. There were two persons, one with a gun and one with a knife, and both of them went in and robbed”.
Ishak stated that over a period of time his business has been a target for small robberies. The incident took place at approximately 1:42 am yesterday.
It is unclear if anyone was arrested for any of the robberies since calls to the Commander and the respective officers in charge of the sub-divisions went unanswered.
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