A gun-toting ‘customer’ and an accomplice yesterday morning forced their way into Nichols Shipping Company, located behind the New Court Yard on Main Street, and after holding up two employees, escaped with the parcels, cellular phones and US$3,000 ($600,000).
Up to press time last evening, the police were still looking for the men.
Customers who turned up subsequently to transact business fumed as they were forced to leave empty-handed.
The manager of the company, who did not want his name published, told Stabroek News that someone had called enquiring about two boxes and was told that they were there.
When the customer arrived at the office around 10 am he identified himself and as the door was being opened to let him in, he and another man stormed in. He held the manager and another staff member at gunpoint and collected the two boxes he had come for, the cash and cellular phones before fleeing.
The manager who was still visibly shaken said that for the time he has been with the company there had never been a robbery.
After the men left, the manager and staff member solicited the help of those at Customs House located next door to call the police.
When Stabroek News arrived, two police officers where conducting their investigations.
The office is located in the upper flat of a building adjoined to the New Court Yard. It houses other businesses including another shipping company.
This newspaper noticed that the office was tucked in a corner and there was no form of security.
There were also three women standing around waiting to uplift money that was sent to them from abroad. Minutes after this newspaper’s arrival, a man came out of the office and told them that there had just been a robbery and as such there was no money. He then told them that they would have to return on Monday.
One of the women was visibly upset and pointed out that her money had arrived since Friday and no one called to tell her it was there. She said she was in a predicament since she cannot get any money and did not even have enough for a fare back home.
She said she has been doing business with the company for years now and never once has she been disappointed until now.
As the two staff members were preparing to leave, another customer turned up for money and he too was disappointed.
Nichols handles cargo and money transfers.
Investigations are continuing.