Four persons including a taxi driver are in police custody following a daring gunpoint robbery on a Bartica gold dealer on Tuesday night during which a bag containing $1.8M and a quantity of gold was snatched.
Concerns were recently expressed by residents of the community as well as Regional Chairman Holbert Knights about the sudden upsurge in criminal activities there. After a few incident-free days and despite a heavy police presence, gunmen struck again.
According to reports reaching Stabroek News sometime around 7 pm Huraj Hansraj, who buys and sells gold, closed his business place located at Second Avenue and Fourth Street and proceeded home.
As the man exited the taxi in front of his West Indies Housing Scheme residence, he was held up by three masked men, two of whom were armed with handguns. They then demanded that he hand over the bag he was holding. They then fled the scene.
A police press release issued yesterday stated that the driver of the taxi is in police custody assisting with investigations.
This newspaper was told that yesterday the police conducted a number of searches in the community and one of the army’s helicopters took to the skies to aid in the operation. A police source confirmed the arrest of the four and the recovery of a gun and a “bandana” that reportedly was used as a mask by one of the gunmen. The items were found not far from the crime scene, this newspaper understands. The officer added that there are strong suspicions that one of the suspects was a part of Tuesday night’s robbery.
Following an increase in armed robbery, a team of policemen from the city was dispatched to the area to help their counterparts in Bartica bring the situation under control.
A resident told this newspaper yesterday that crimes continue to occur despite a heavy police presence on the roads and daily patrols.
“We here feel a bit safe with them (the police) but the bandits still carrying on”, he said.