Airline employee robbed on railway embankment during Cambridge funeral
Stabroek News
June 18, 2002

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A 22-year-old Universal Airlines employee is still shaken from what he described as a "horrific" experience when he was attacked and robbed by five armed bandits during the funeral of wanted man, Compton Cambridge, on the Railway Embankment at Buxton last Friday afternoon.

Stabroek News caught up with Davendra Shamsudeen, who said he was robbed by the men at around 5:30 pm while he was in a traffic jam on the embankment road on his way to Corriverton.

The police in a release said that they are conducting investigations into several incidents of criminal activity, which took place along the East Coast Demerara during the funeral procession of Cambridge.

According to the release a Campbellville resident was allegedly attacked by five men all whom were armed with long guns while and robbed him of a quantity of local and foreign currency, one laptop computer, jewellery and cell phones.

Shamsudeen on Sunday told this newspaper that all five of the men were armed with high powered weapons while one them had two other guns stuck in his waist.

He said that he was keen on driving on the main road, because he was afraid of what might have happened to him in Buxton. However, when he arrived at Non Pariel the traffic officers directing traffic in that area instructed all motorists to travel on the embankment. The man said he questioned the officer as to the safety of travelling on that road and was assured that he was safe.

According to the young man he was stuck in traffic when the five men approached his car and all five of them were wearing bulletproof vests. He said at first he was not afraid because he saw a Guyana Defence Force (GDF) vehicle with armed soldiers not far from where he was. But he said even though there was traffic in front and behind him, the men surrounded the car and one of them stood in front ordering him to open the door.

According to the still terrified man, he hesitated but one of the bandits attempted to break the windscreen; four of them entered the car while the fifth remained outside.

Shamsudeen said that the bandit who remained outside appeared to be the leader and he was the oldest of the lot since the others appeared to be in their early twenties while he appeared to be in his late thirties. He said that one of the bandits placed a gun in his mouth while two other placed guns to both side of his neck and the fourth hit him in the rib with his gun.

He said at this point the soldiers fired shots into the air but this in no way daunted the men's progress. The five men asked him for all the money he had and he emptied his wallet, which contained $5,000 and US$700. The young man said he was taking the foreign currency for some people in the his hometown and he lamented that he would now have to work and repay those persons.

The bandits took a laptop computer valued US$800, a gold band valued $31,000 and a gold chain with A diamond valued $65,000. They also escaped with a number of documents, clothing and some cosmetics and two cellular phones.

He said he also had a very large television set in his car and the four bandits wanted to take it but their "boss" instructed them not to and pointed out that should the soldiers see them with the television they were going to shoot them.

The young man said that one of the men threatened to shoot him and he pulled out his gun magazine, apparently to check it, causing the bullets to fall out in the car. The man said this bandit appeared to be drug-crazed and one of his accomplices slapped his face several time informing him that he, the victim, was just a "youth man."

He said that by now, the army officers were advancing towards his car and the bandits got out, looked at the soldiers and made their escape in the direction of the city.

The young man questioned why the soldiers could not have done anything to save him. Stabroek News was told by an army source yesterday that the soldiers had their hands tied and could only shoot up in the air, because if they had fired at the bandits there would have been chaos and a lot of innocent lives might have been lost.

The young man said that he was later escorted to the Vigilance Police Station by a traffic policeman at Coldingen, where he reported the incident.

The police release related another case where a large crowd stopped mini bus BGG 1869, which was proceeding west along the Friendship public road and pulled out the sliding door. However, the driver was able to manoeuvre the vehicle out of the crowd.

According to the release, a Section `K' resident, Euclid Nurse, had his Canter vehicle stoned on the railway embankment and his windscreen damaged. And a 23-year-old young man was allegedly assaulted and robbed by six men one of whom lashed him with a bottle while the others who were armed with hand guns relieved him of $14,000, a silver chain and a wrist watch.