Bandits snatch $3.8M, batter woman in West Dem home invasion

A gang of men attacked a woman in her Ruimzight, West Coast Demerara home and after battering her escaped with $3.8 million in cash on Sunday night.

The woman, identified as Seelochanie Budhoo, of 26-26 Country Villa (Hanuman Street), has been admitted as a patient at a private city hospital, where she has undergone surgery.

Stabroek News was unable to make contact with Budhoo or her relatives but according to sources close to the case, she sustained a broken jaw and her face, including her eyes, were left badly swollen after the attack.

From all indications, she might have been gun butted by the men.

In a press release, the police said the attack occurred around 7 pm and was carried out by four men, one of whom was armed with a handgun.

The release added that investigations revealed that Budhoo was held up by the men in her living room and ordered to lie on the floor. The men then tied her hands and dealt her several kicks about her body.

According to the press release, the bandits then took away $3.8 million that was in a bedroom.

Up to press time last evening there was no word from the police about the apprehension of a suspect in the case.

Police had identified the address where the attack took place as “Hanam Street, Ruimzight,” however checks by this newspaper revealed that such a location does not exist. Residents later gave Budhoo’s address as Country Villa, while noting that the area is also referred to as “Hanuman Street,” as a result of a religious statue that is located at the head of the street.

The house was tightly locked and no one appeared to be at home.

This newspaper was subsequently told that Budhoo lived alone and would spend most of her time in the interior.

Most residents said that they were unaware of the robbery and attributed this to the fact that most “people keep to themselves”. This newspaper was told that the owners of almost all of the houses in proximity to Budhoo’s have migrated.
The owners and other occupants of the others are hardly home.

One resident told Stabroek News that he last spoke to the woman around 6.30 pm. About half an hour later, she was standing on the top of an outside staircase calling for help. Stabroek News was told that after the bandits left, the woman somehow managed to free herself. A relative, who was contacted, later arrived and took her to the hospital.

According to residents, because of how Budhoo’s house is constructed, even if she had hollered for help during the attack, no one outside would have heard her. They said that the street is dark at night and they would usually lock their doors once the place gets dark. They also said that sometime late last year the woman’s home was burglarised but it is unclear what was taken.

Stabroek News was told that prior to Budhoo raising an alarm, no strange persons were seen in the area. It is suspected that after committing the robbery, the bandits walked out to the main road, from where they made good their escape.

They are also suggestions that the men were closely watching the woman’s movements before they attacked.

Following the attack, residents were fearful yesterday. One resident said she was uneasy and now contemplating moving out. She and her family have been residing in the area for about a year now.

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