Two men held

Stabroek News
March 18, 2000

Two men are in police custody following an early morning robbery last week on the West Coast Demerara home of an America street businessman, in which gun-toting bandits carted off over $300,000 in local and foreign currency.

One of the men being questioned, according to a reliable source, is a resident of Hague Front, West Coast Demerara with whom the residents are "very familiar." A top police official yesterday confirmed that two men were being held but declined to say what progress had been made so far in the investigation.

Four masked bandits broke into the Cornelia Ida home of Mohamed Razack, a businessman, at about 3:00 am on March 10. During the 30-minute ordeal, the men, whom residents said were clad in clothes similar to those worn by the "black-clothes police," kept villagers at bay with steady gunfire. They also fired several rounds into the home of Razack and the houses of his neighbours. Razack's wife, Devika Jaipaul, was forced to jump out of an upstairs window to escape. The businessman was beaten about the body with guns and a cutlass and was asked, "Whey de cocaine, guns and grenade deh?"

After picking up a bag with money, the men kept up their gunfire while calmly walking along the street in the full view of the nearby residents. The bandits, residents said, escaped in the direction of the backdam, south of the village.

A neighbour who was on his way to work that morning said that he had talked to one of the robbers at the time of the incident. The man, who was on the public road, said he was awaiting transportation and heard several shots being fired. He then saw four persons dressed like policemen ambling towards him. The masked men were all dressed in "black clothes and wearing boots like police," he said. One was clutching what looked like a pump action rifle, another had a gun with the "barrel filled with holes" while the other two were armed with handguns and a cutlass. The man said he was not suspicious of the men as he thought that they were police. One of them asked him if he had seen a woman with cocaine running past. The resident said he had not and the men walked past, fired a few rounds in the air and disappeared into the darkness of the backdam area south of the village.

Stabroek News has since learnt that the businessman who was robbed and three villagers who were witnesses have given statements to the Criminal Investigations Department, Eve Leary.

Meanwhile police investigations are continuing into the burglary at the La Union Gas Station, West Coast Demerara almost two weeks ago in which $1 million in stock was taken. The police are also investigating a robbery at La Union where two armed bandits broke into a home, held a gun to the neck of a grandmother and made off with over $1 million in cash, jewellery and household articles.