Remigrant robbed after early morning drink of water
Guyana Chronicle
March 22, 2002

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“I am so confused, upset and hurt” - George DeFreitas
AN ELDERLY remigrant this week lost Pounds Sterling 15,645 (about G$5M) from his North Road, Georgetown home after being `knocked out’ by a drink of `water’ offered by a friend.

George DeFreitas, 60, said he suffered the nightmarish experience in the wee hours of Tuesday morning last.

The medical researcher, formerly of Central London, England, recently returned to Guyana to resettle and contribute his services after living abroad for 19 years.

DeFreitas said during earlier visits to Guyana he befriended a security guard who was working at the Russian Embassy building at Pike Street, Kitty, Georgetown. He said he has no immediate relatives or friends here, except one sister, with whom he has not yet made contact.

He tearfully told the Chronicle that because of his decision to resettle here, he bought a house at 16B North Road and the money he brought back would have been used to repair and paint it, among other things.

DeFreitas recalled that the security guard, who stayed with him at there, surprisingly took him a glass of water last Tuesday morning when he woke up at about 2:30 hrs. He said he was a bit skeptical, but being convinced of the integrity of the person with whom he was associated for three or four years, he thought it was just a kind gesture and took a sip.

But he was immediately `knocked out’, managing to reawaken until about 17:50 hrs. He said apparently the glass of water contained some kind of anaesthetic drug, which sent him immediately into a deep sleep.

DeFreitas said shortly after he woke up, he checked for the money, which was in a pouch attached to his waist, and discovered all missing. He then called out for the guard, but he too was gone.

On trying to go outside of the house to find out what was happening, DeFreitas said he found the door locked from the outside, so he called out for some tenants who were living in the lower flat of the building and they broke down the door to enable him to get out.

He subsequently made a report at the Brickdam Police Station, but was referred to the Alberttown Police Station, and Police are now on the hunt for the guard.

DeFreitas now regrets his decision to return to Guyana, but has not yet decided his next move, having not recovered from the shocking experience. “I am so confused, upset and hurt that I cannot make a decision,” he sadly remarked.

He said that he has some legal matters to conclude pertaining to the purchase of the house, after which he may make a decision on his next move.

DeFreitas lamented that he was so kind and helpful to the guard, whom he could not believe would have done him something like this. He said on the man’s request, he even built him a two-bedroom house at Grove squatting area, where he resides.

On an earlier visit to Guyana, DeFreitas had been invited by the man to look at the appalling state of the shack he was living in at the time, and immediately pitied him.

DeFreitas, reflecting on the incident Tuesday, recalled that the guard had many friends to whom he was never introduced, and opined that the robbery was carefully planned and premeditated.

He said he is now financially broke and cannot immediately access savings abroad. A friend, however, has promised to help him and DeFreitas, a firm believer in Jesus Christ, is optimistic he will receive the strength and courage necessary to recover from the harrowing experience and carry on with his life.

Meanwhile, the Chronicle learnt that the guard was a soldier discharged from the Guyana Defence Force between 1996-97.

Efforts to get a comment from the Police on the investigations were unsuccessful. (CHAMANLALL NAIPAUL).