Grenade destroys equipment at Reeaz Trading store

By Robert Bazil
Guyana Chronicle
June 14, 1999

A ROCKET-propelled grenade ripped through the metal door of Reeaz Trading Enterprises in Camp Street, at about 22:30 hours Saturday, damaging several electronic items, a concrete wall and an office.

The rocket-launcher and the empty shell were recovered at the scene by Police, and they are being examined by ballistics experts. No arrests have been made, Police said.

The launcher had the name `Glen Lall' written on it. Lall, who is the brother of proprietor Reeaz Khan, said yesterday that he did not understand why somebody would do that.

Police immediately announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone in possession of grenades and rocket-launchers. The Police believe that a person or persons fired the device at Khan's building.

In a separate incident, a grenade was found on the verandah at the home of businessman Balkaran Sukhoo of Saffon and Howes Streets, Charlestown.

Police said in a statement yesterday that it was a Dutch-made NR 20 fragmentation grenade. Police ballistic experts are examining the device. No arrests have been made in that incident either.

Police confirmed in a press release that the grenade at Reeaz Trading Enterprises penetrated the door of the building before damaging several electrical appliances including television sets, refrigerators, micro-wave ovens, stereo sets, stoves, and washing machines among other items.

Khan told the Chronicle yesterday that he was at home resting when he got a call from the Police at about 00:45 hours Sunday. A Police Inspector from the Impact Division informed him that there was a bomb attack on the building.

"I went down to the store and noticed a big hole in the building... we were not able to enter the place until about 07:30 hours yesterday because of the condition of the door," he said.

According to him, the rocket-launcher was found in a drain across the road from the store on the western side. The shell was recovered about 30 feet south of the building.

The businessman recalled that when the door was opened, Police found a hollow mangled piece of copper about two inches in diameter and about a foot long. The year of manufacture was 1987.

Khan said that many of the television sets cannot even be turned on because of fear that they might `blow' as a result of the damaged tubes. Khan explained that a TV screen usually takes about 32,000 volts.

Around 10:30 hours yesterday, Camp Street between Croal Street and Brickdam was still cordoned off and Crime Chief, Mr Floyd McDonald, was inspecting the scene.

Meanwhile, in the Charlestown incident, Sukhoo said he woke up about 06:30 hours yesterday to turn off the security lights. After switching off the lights in front, he went to the back of the house to carry out the same exercise. It was then that he saw an object outside.

"Because of the colour and shape I figured it was a plastic toy that might have been left by the other occupants of the house, so I left it there and waited until my son and his wife woke up, just after 8 a.m.," he said.

However, they claimed that they did not know anything about it.

"I went to see if I could see it better...then I saw this trigger piece and I said this looks very much like a hand grenade I saw in the papers and in the news," he told the Chronicle. Sukhoo said that he telephoned the Police Impact Patrol which came and checked the place out before going for back up.

A tender from the Guyana Fire Service arrived shortly afterwards.

One of the Police ranks, dressed in protective clothing retrieved the device while others stood back. The rank said they are treating it as a live grenade.

The Policeman then asked for a piece of wire which he used as an improvised pin for the grenade.

Sukhoo, who operates a machine shop, complained that burglars target his home at least once a month, and he did not rule out the possibility that somebody climbed up and placed the grenade in that section of the building.

His son told the Chronicle the Police explained that the grenade did not detonate because of corrosion.

Meanwhile, Police have assured the public that all information leading to the arrest of the grenade perpetrators will be treated with the strictest confidence. Persons can contact the Police on telephone numbers, 53650, 61326, 72128, 67065, 66978 or 56411.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples