Bandits rob Bourda Green stall

Stabroek News
July 10, 2000

Three unmasked gun and cutlass-wielding bandits on Saturday evening robbed a Bourda Green vendor of over $3M in cash before escaping in a taxi which was parked in Church Street about a hundred yards away from the site of the robbery.

The stallholder, thirty-four-year-old Khemchandra Matadin told Stabroek News that three bandits, one of whom had been armed with a gun and another with a cutlass had held up two of his employees just before the stall closed. The third bandit had run in and seized the money following which they then made good their escape.

Matadin, who has been a vendor at the market for some twenty years now selling a variety of products, said that at approximately 9:00pm when he was just about to close off for the day, he remembered he had to do something in his car which was parked in Orange Walk. The vendor related that while he was in his car one of his employees ran up out of breath to his car window and told him that bandits had struck and had escaped with a quantity of cash.

He said that for a moment he was motionless as he was too shocked by the news, but he soon found his bearings and along with his employees gave chase to the bandits who had reportedly run in the direction of Church Street. On arrival in the street a security guard working at the St Rose's Secondary School recalled that he had seen three men run past him shouting, "Taxi! taxi!" and as the car had stopped they had jumped in and had sped down the road.

After the failed attempted to apprehend the bandits, Matadin said that he then returned to his stall and was told how the bandits had committed the robbery. According to him he had left his wife, his three sons, another relative and three of his employees assisting in the closing of the stall. He related that he had been told that while he was on his way to the car someone saw four men following him and as he entered the car one of them had stood as if guarding him while the three others turned back in the direction of the stall.

The three men approached Matadin's stall and one of them placed a gun to an employee's neck from behind telling him not to move, and as another employee attempted to close the stall door one of the other men placed a cutlass to his throat. The remaining bandit then ran into the stall, picked up the money following which the three quickly made their escape. A check for the fourth man proved futile.

Matadin feels that the taxi used by the men was waiting for them, and since they would not have wanted anyone to read the number plate they would have told the driver to park some distance away.

The young businessman is puzzled by the action of the third bandit whom he said appeared to know exactly where he usually kept his money. The man said that he was told that the bandit did not pull out a drawer where some cash was to be found, but went straight to the spot where the larger sum was located and stole that.

He is of the belief that the robbery had some link with an earlier incident that occurred this year, about which he declined to elaborate.

The businessman said that it was not the first time he had been targeted, since during the 1997-98 protests his stall had been cleaned out by looters. Subsequent to that persons had stolen small sums of money on a regular basis.

The matter was reported to the Alberttown Police Station which is investigating the robbery.

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