Cambio dealers bemoan lack of police presence
Stabroek News
June 18, 2002

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The lack of police presence and inadequate security in the busy downtown areas were the reasons cited by owners and managers of four non-bank cambios for not opening their doors to business since the robbery on Commerce House Cambio two weeks ago.

Most of the other non-bank cambios, which are open, are operating in a limited way.

The four non-bank cambios closed in the wake of the shooting to death of an employee of, and robbery of Commerce House Cambio on Regent Street. The robbery of Commerce House Cambio was the second in three years. Commerce House has been closed to business since.

Meanwhile, reports are that Commerce House Cambio proprietor Kennard Gobin was "coming around nicely". He had sustained gunshots to both of his hands and two to his chest. His cashier/accountant Ramnauth Persaud, who was also brutally shot, died.

The other cambios which have not reopened, include D. Singh and Sons and Blue Flame on America Street, and A&N Sarjoo on Longden Street. In the past they were all victims of armed robberies. Neville Sarjoo, the late proprietor of A&N Sarjoo was fatally shot outside his cambio in 1999.

With the exception of Laparkan and Western Union all the other non-bank cambios were reportedly operating on a limited scale. Security has been a key concern following the June 1 robbery. King Solomon's Cambio, which operated on Robb Street, moved its operations to Brickdam and Austin Place immediately following the robbery. Plans had been in train to move the cambio but these were brought forward.

One cambio proprietor told Stabroek News yesterday that he was not sure when he was going to reopen his business because since the robbery on Commerce House and other robberies being committed regularly, neither the police nor government have seen it fit to beef up security in the busy downtown areas.

Some of the cambio dealers with whom Stabroek News spoke yesterday said they were even more concerned about security following the robbery and shooting to death of Margaret Ng-See-Quan and serious injury to her husband, businessman Hilton Ng-See-Quan at Vergenoegen, East Bank Essequibo early Thursday morning.

One cambio dealer who had expressed the desire to close his cambio operation and emigrate said yesterday that the cambio was still operating but in a limited way. He had said that he was considering emigrating.

Since the robbery and in spite of previous reports in the media, he said, no police were seen patrolling Regent Street, which has two banks. In addition millions of dollars passed through the street on a daily basis. (Miranda La Rose)