Bandits attack internet café, rob customers
By Nigel Williams
August 15, 2002
Armed bandits last evening attacked an internet café, robbed 18 customers and wounded one of the owners before calmly walking away on foot.
Atlantic Netsurf located at Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara was under siege for over 15 minutes last evening when the three men, two with guns and the other wielding a chopper carted off an undisclosed sum from the business and stripped the customers of several pieces of jewellery, wristwatches and cell phones.
The bandits wounded Deonarine Nemraj above his left eye with the blunt side of the chopper. When Stabroek News arrived at the scene the business was already closed and others in the area had done likewise.
Up to last night no one knew in which direction the bandits fled after the robbery. The internet cafe is owned by three young men, one of whom is Nemraj, Ramiz Raja of the US and Sarvanan Shivindial. Recounting the 15-minute blitz to this newspaper Shivindial, who was in the cashier's cage at the time with Nemraj, said that the three bandits entered the shop looking like regular customers. According to him, when they reached the gate one of them rushed into the cafe and discharged a bullet into the ceiling with a revolver. Shivindial said that as soon as the round was fired he ducked for cover but soon after the other bandits ran in and commanded all of the customers to lie face down. The young man said that most of the customers were students of the University of Guyana and a few residents in the area.
He said that the chopper wielder entered the cage and lashed Nemraj on his face causing him to bleed profusely. He then ransacked the canister taking away all of their day's earnings. Nemraj who is an X-ray technician at the Woodlands Hospital also fell on his face after he was hit. Shivindial could not see what happened thereafter since he was made to lie face down.
One of the customers who gave his name as Ricky said that he and his friend had gone to the cafe earlier in the evening to download a few songs. He said that he was at his computer when the men entered the shop discharged a round and ordered everyone to lie face down. He said that the two gunmen checked every part of his body asking for guns and money. He was relieved of his gold band, two finger rings and a gold chain while his friend was relieved of his wristwatch and cell phone.
Shivindial said that he was carrying a wallet with $10,000, his cell phone and a gold band and the bandits took all. Another customer who was about to enter the shop, but did not recognise the bandits inside, related that he took the bandits for young men who would usually visit the cafe to play games on the computer. The man Kumar Chowtie said that when he was about to enter the cafe one of the bandits accosted him at the gate and said, "Wheh you a goh now". The bandits took away his gold chain with a very large pendant and a Seiko watch.
After the pillaging, the bandits walked out the cafe and fired off shots. The police were called immediately and responded some 45 minutes after. One of the employees at the net service said that when the bandits left the scene she made a call to the Sparendaam Police Station to report the matter and to her amazement one of the first questions the officer who answered the phone put to her was, "how much money deh tief".
Atlantic Netsurf was established in January this year and would usually open from 8 am to 9.30 pm. Shivindial said that they would continue their business but would have to exercise more care in the future.