Police shoot 'Beast' dead
--fingered as NIS robbery suspect

By Desiree Jodah
Stabroek News
January 20, 2000

Cecil Albert McDonald, whom a police source had told Stabroek News was one of the suspects in the National Insurance Scheme $13 million robbery, was shot dead yesterday in a confrontation with police at Mahdia.

A press statement from the Guyana Police Force said that about 0550 hrs McDonald called 'Beast', was killed by a party of policemen during efforts to arrest him. The statement said the man was wanted for questioning in connection with a recent robbery.

An unlicensed .38 Taurus revolver and four rounds of live ammunition were recovered by the police. The incident occurred at 111 miles Mahdia.

On Monday, January 10, a man armed with a gun and grenades held up the cashier of NIS and forced her to hand over $13 million. The robbery was committed on the day that pensioners were being paid. Another of the bandits, masquerading as a pensioner, had a submachine gun concealed in a bag while he sat among those waiting to be paid. He had taken out the gun when asked to do so by the bandit who had collected the cash.

According to a source, McDonald was believed to have been the bandit who was disguised as the pensioner. Last week, a police source had linked McDonald to the robbery along with the wanted Linden London known as 'Blackie' and Andrew Douglas.

According to information from Mahdia, McDonald lived in the community not far from the airstrip. Residents expressed shock at reports that McDonald was involved in the robbery and that he was wanted by the police. He was described as a quiet man who worked as a miner and who was well-liked by members of the community.

One Mahdia resident questioned why the police at this location did not arrest McDonald if they knew he was wanted. The resident said the man had lived in a house at Mahdia and walked around in full view of the police and everyone else there.

Residents who flocked to the small house on hearing of the shooting found the place cordoned off by police. This newspaper understands that the people then made their way to the Mahdia Hospital where the body had been taken. But here again, they were reportedly not allowed to enter.

According to the source, members of the police special force set up after the robbery, left the city for the area on Tuesday and made their move to arrest the man early on Wednesday morning. The two special force members were reportedly met with gunfire from within the house.

Following the NIS robbery, police had offered a $1 million reward for any information that would lead to the arrest of any of the three men. The sum of $300,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of any one of the three men.

The two men after carrying out the daring robbery had coolly walked out of the NIS compound into a waiting brown car in which a third bandit was sitting and escaped. Police have not been able to locate the car as yet.

A clerk who also worked as a relief cashier at NIS and her brother had been held by the police in connection with their investigations into the robbery. The two were released by the police this week following civil action in the High Court.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples