Heavily armed men attack rum shop
Beat owner, kick pregnant daughter
By Nigel Williams
October 24, 2002
Five heavily armed bandits robbed and beat the owner of a rum shop at Friendship, East Bank Demerara yesterday, kicking his pregnant daughter in the stomach.
Amanda Khan of Lot 30 Friendship, who is one month pregnant, is now a patient at a city hospital after being kicked several times in the abdomen. Her father Charles Sarjoo had his forehead severely battered by the men who got away with $400,000.
A heavily bandaged Sarjoo told Stabroek News about the 10-minute ordeal after returning from the St Joseph Mercy Hospital. He said it was around 12:15 pm and his son-in-law Gary Foo and a friend, Charles Forbes were in his Highway 701 restaurant and liquor bar when the five bandits entered. Sarjoo said he was in the kitchen preparing pork cutters for his customers.
He said the men came from the direction of the city in a cream mini-bus which put them off about 40 metres away from his premises. It was the first time in the current crime wave that a mini-bus has been used and apparently the bus had been hired especially for the attack as it immediately drove away empty. Sarjoo said the men were all armed with long guns which looked like AK-47s. They were not wearing any face masks or bulletproof vests. He said the bandits charged into the bar and ordered Foo and Forbes to lie face down while another one accosted him from behind. "All what I know is that one of them come in the kitchen and tek de gun butt and lash me in me back of me head and when I turned around to look at him I saw the gun."
Sarjoo said immediately after he received the first lash a second bandit came up to him and demanded all his money. He said his daughter who was upstairs at the time heard the commotion and while rushing down the steps to see what had happened two of the bandits met her below the stairs and dragged her back up. He said he could only watch helplessly as one of the bandits tugged his daughter upstairs. She begged them to leave her but whenever she uttered a word they kicked her. Sarjoo said Amanda was then taken upstairs where she handed over the cash to the bandits. The two bandits then dragged her downstairs and placed her to lie in the yard. He recounted that during this time he was being beaten and Foo who is a licensed firearm holder was relieved of his weapon. The businessman who had only opened his business in July recalled that he fainted from the pain but that did not prevent them from hitting him more. He said when the terror ended the five walked out of the bar and disappeared into some thick bushes in the area. The police arrived some 45 minutes after and combed the area. Sarjoo lamented that while the law enforcement agencies have been focusing their attention mainly on the East Coast, persons are continuing to get robbed on the East Bank. He said that with the exception of the army which sometimes patrolled the area no other patrols are seen.
The businessman was still traumatised up to late last evening but his relatives were at his home at the time offering words of comfort. He declared that he would forthwith close his business and would think strongly of leaving the country. At present Sarjoo's wife Norma Sarjoo is in the USA undergoing medical treatment. The businessman said that he has now become fed-up with all that is happening. "My future is not in Guyana no more, because if a man could come 12 'o'clock in your home and rob you then it does not worth the while living here."