Goldsmith closes down after fourth robbery in a year
Manager and wife beaten by three armed men
By Nigel Williams
Stabroek News
June 4, 2003

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The young manager of a jewellery workshop at Pearl, East Bank Demerara has been forced to close his business after armed bandits robbed him on Monday, the fourth time in a year.

An estimated $5M in jewellery and other items were stolen by three masked men who are believed to be residents of the area.

Monday morning was the latest in a series of robbery attacks on Dharamraj Bridgemohan, manager of Topaz Jewellery at Lot 114-115, Pearl. Two of the managerís employees were in the business place at the time and the bandits burnt one of them on his tongue with a welding torch, slashed the bottom of his feet and cut him on his mouth. They also stomped on the chest of the manís wife and cut her behind her neck.

Recounting the ordeal which lasted for about one hour, he said he was told the bandits had announced their arrival with loud banging on the wall of the house. He said the couple who had only recently moved in were sleeping and were awakened by the men who shouted for them to open the door. According to Bridgemohan, the couple ignored the bandits but they later managed to enter the house through a hole which they made. Once inside, the bandits hauled Mahendra from his bed put him to kneel down and beat him. They then proceeded to burn his tongue, tied him up with a telephone cord, scorched him on his mouth and then slashed the bottom of his feet.

They then turned on Rena who had remained very quiet while her husband was being beaten. She was chopped on her left thumb and a wire was tied around her neck. The bandits then ransacked the house packing away every valuable item they could find.

However when they approached the safe where Bridgemohan stores his jewellery they could not get in because no one knew the combination.

He said the bandits repeatedly threatened to kill Mahendra if he did not open the safe.

They eventually succeeded in breaking the door and took away 18 karat gold jewellery and a large quantity of loose diamonds and gold.

They left the couple tied up with telephone cord and wires. A call to the police was only responded to some two hours later and police only took an oral statement.

The manager said in August he was robbed for the first time when three men held him up at his front gate. He said the men had taken away $25,000 in cash, his cell phone and other documents.

On the second occasion in September three men again entered the business place and carried away one computer, a fax machine, one stabiliser, one television set and a brush cutter.

The third attack came earlier this year and on that occasion three bandits robbed him of jewellery tools valued at $1.2M.

Bridgemohan said even though he was willing to continue the business, he was now strapped for cash and was not prepared to take any more risks.

The 24-year-old manager said he was entrusted with the responsibility of managing the business after Dominic Gaskin, former co-owner of Gaskin and Jackson Jewellery migrated. He said business was not too bright, but he managed to secure markets for his work.

Now that Bridgemohan has decided to close down the business, upon instructions from Gaskin, his two workers Mahendra and Rena would be out of a job.

Some years ago he had secured insurance coverage for the losses he suffered during the earlier robberies but the insurance company subsequently took out theft from the policy, saying that they were being robbed too often. Bridgemohan said on Monday the bandits carried away customersí jewellery which he had already prepared. ďI would now have to find those people money to give them back and the truth is I donít have no money.Ē

He has since contacted those customers and explained to them his plight. Bridgemohan said he was hoping to reimburse them in three weeks.

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