More persons held in cambio robbery probe

Stabroek News
September 27, 1999

The Police detained five more persons yesterday morning on the West Bank Demerara as they continued an intensive search for armed bandits who staged a daring mid-morning robbery in America Street which left five persons injured.

Relatives of three of the five persons who were arrested yesterday morning claimed police brutality and violation of their rights.

Police also have two others in custody one of whom is a taxi driver from the East End Taxi Service, of North East La Penitence. The taxi driver is suspected to have driven the car PFF 7962 used by the bandits. High-level police sources yesterday said that the vehicle, according to registration documents, should carry the licence number PEE 6960. The other man who was held on Friday is suspected to be one of the bandits involved in Wednesday's chilling robbery.

The bandits sprayed bullets in America and Water Streets before and after the robbery, which was committed on a cambio owned by D. Singh and Sons, and then eluded a joint services dragnet after hiding out in the canefields at the back of Mocha Arcadia on Wednesday. One of the bandits Terry Madhoo called `Rusty' was shot and killed in a confrontation with police.

The two other persons held yesterday are said to be a member of the medical profession and his sister who live in a house on the West Bank under which the police claimed one of the bandits was hiding. The house is situated in a long yard which leads out to the Demerara river.

Crime Chief Floyd McDonald yesterday told Stabroek News that there was no further development in the investigations but said police have conducted searches in various parts of the country.

Francis Anderson, a relative of one of the suspected bandits in police custody, said he received the beating of his life at the hands of members of Target Special Forces on Thursday.

Anderson told Stabroek News yesterday that on Thursday morning at about 0605 hrs he was in his yard at Middle Road, Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara opening a bag of cement to make some concrete blocks when he heard someone running into the yard.

He said on looking up he saw a policeman dressed in "black clothes" with a "big" gun in his hand. Anderson said he was ordered to lie on the ground and he complied.

By then about 15 others joined the first one who started to kick him asking for his relative. Anderson said he told the policemen he did not know where the relative was, but one continued to beat him with a spade with which he was working.

Meanwhile, some others had kicked down his front door and started questioning his wife Bobby on the whereabouts of the man, nicknamed `Bugs'.

Anderson said all this took place in front of his three children. Anderson added he told the police he had three brothers one of whom lived at Samaroo Dam, one overseas and one with his mother. He said the police ordered him to get into the vehicle and take them to the wanted relative's house. He said at Samaroo Dam, the police kicked down the door of the house his relative owns, but which he had rented out. According to him, the people in the house told the police they only rented the place and they did not know anything about `Bugs'.

Anderson said he then took the police to his sister Renette Clement's house further down the dam after they accused him of lying to them. At his sister's house he claimed the police ran up the stairs, pushed his brother-in-law out of the way ran through the house and into the bedrooms. According to him, after ransacking the house the police came back to the vehicle where he was and started beating him again. He said he received blows to his head, face, arm and back.

Anderson said, his relative whom the police were asking for, went to Eve Leary on Friday to enquire what they wanted and has been in custody since.

One of Anderson's brothers-in-law, Lynburn Jackson, whose wife was also taken into police custody yesterday complained that his constitutional and human rights have been violated by the police.

Jackson of 40 Bagotville, West Bank Demerara said that at about 0715 hrs yesterday morning he heard a shot and enquired from his wife Kay, who was cooking in the kitchen, what was happening and she told him that it was the police.

Jackson, who said he was a member of the Guyana Defence Force, said he heard a loud noise at his front door and a policeman dressed in "black clothes" pushed a 12" gauge shotgun through a window and told him to lie down and not to move. According to him, he was subsequently ordered by the leader of the men to come outside.

Jackson said when he got outside he saw his house was surrounded by "black clothes" policemen armed with semi automatic and automatic weapons.

The leader, according to him, asked his wife her name and she told him it was Kay Jackson. He then said he wanted to know her maiden name and she told him "Anderson." Jackson said the policeman told him they did not want him, but his wife. He said he asked what they wanted her for, but got no response. The man said the police then took his wife away.

Jessie Anderson, the mother of three people who were held by the police said she was also detained at Eve Leary by the police all day Thursday.

McDonald asked yesterday about the complaints about police brutality, said he had not received any such reports. However, he said, any such report would be investigated.

The three bandits who evaded the police dragnet are believed to be led by Linden London called 'Blackie' a former member of the GDF Special Forces.

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