`Blackie' gang linked to food mart robbery
Guyana Chronicle
March 15, 2002

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AT LEAST two of the escapees in the daring prison Mash Day jailbreak were in the gang that attacked and robbed the food mart in Annandale, East Coast Demerara last week, a source said yesterday.

The source said Police uplifted the fingerprints of two of the escaped prisoners from a mini-bus which they hijacked after robbing the food mart last week Wednesday night. The bandits escaped with some $1.2M in cash and a quantity of foodstuff from the business place.

Still at large after the jailbreak which claimed the life of 21-year old Prison Officer Troy Williams of Stanleytown, Berbice and left Woman Prison Officer, Roxamme Whinfield critically wounded, are Mark Fraser, Andrew Douglas, Shawn Brown, Troy Dick and Dale Moore, all linked to the notorious `Blackie' criminal gang.

The Police say the five are "armed and dangerous" and wanted bulletins have been posted countrywide for them.

The five prisoners who killed the prison officer and shot Whinfield in the head when they fled the Georgetown Prison, were suspected to have carried out the precision movie-style attack on Jane's Food Mart at Annandale.

Police intelligence reports last week said the five were still operating together and may have been joined by one or two more bandits, but the fingerprints found on the mini-bus were the first direct link between the gang and the robbery.

Witnesses said between five and seven heavily-armed bandits closed in on the food mart at around 19:00 hrs and like in the `Dog Day Afternoon' movie, held the proprietors, their staff and about 20 customers under siege for about half an hour.

The bandits demanded cash and jewellery, and after terrorising the proprietors Vivekanand and Jane Parasram at gunpoint, beat customer Kampta Persaud on the head with a gun. Mr. Parasram was also beaten on the head and the wound took about 10 stitches, he said.

Then loading a quantity of groceries in Persaud's mini-bus, the bandits made off with the vehicle and about $1.5M in cash.

During the ordeal, they were also said to have cut the telephone line to the building from outside, in an attempt to prevent anyone making contact with the police or anyone else outside the premises.

The `Blackie' criminal ring was led by Linden `Blackie' London who was shot dead when he was cornered in a Police-Army operation in an Eccles, East Bank Demerara guest house in February 1999.