Brand-name bandits attack
Police scale up presence on lower East Coast
Stabroek News
December 6, 2003

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Following the terror unleashed by six gunmen on five homes in Coldingen on Wednesday night, the police have increased its presence on the lower East Coast Demerara, according to a release from the Government Information Agency (GINA).

The release, which did not say anything about the robberies, reported that Police Public Relations Officer, Assis-tant Superintendent David Ramnarine said that in the face of "a seemingly increased number of sensational crimes in the area," a number of road blocks has been set up by the police and a number of searches conducted on homes in the area.

The release said Ramnarine disclosed that there is a significant increase in the actual ranks being deployed in the area. The increase in manpower, the release said, is complemented by an increase in vehicles readily available to patrol the area and to respond to emergency calls.

Villagers in communities without electricity and telephone services are cautioned to be more alert since the response time of the police is delayed because of the villagers' inability to contact the law enforcement agencies in a timely manner.

The agency said that it understands that the terrain of the backlands of the lower east coast is extremely difficult to police and while there may be relative safety in villages, criminals use the sugar estates' road network to move from village to village.

The release also said that some parts of the backlands could not be patrolled by vehicle, posing an imminent danger to ranks patrolling on foot.

The six unmasked men, dressed in brand-name clothing and footwear on Wednesday night kicked down doors, and fired through one window before terrorising their victims. While leaving, the men had fired another shot in the air.

Residents had told this newspaper that the attackers escaped in the direction of Buxton. One man, Asgar Ali, was severely beaten by the bandits who also placed a gun to his baby's head.

The police have not made any statement on the recent robberies.