Bandits crash No.70 post-cricket fete

-escape with jewels
A celebration after cricket was rudely interrupted by two bandits, who early yesterday robbed a Corentyne family and their friends of cash and jewellery leaving them traumatized.

A man has been arrested and is in custody assisting with investigations into the armed robbery, the police said in a statement last evening. A distressed Jasmatie Ramotaur called ‘Pam’ related to this newspaper that her 15-year-old son had brought his friends to their Number 70 Village, Corentyne home to celebrate after a cricket match on Saturday.

They were joined by neighbours and they socialized well into the night. They were at the ‘bottom house’ and at about 12:30 am yesterday, Ramotaur said, she noticed a young man, who lived in the same street coming into the yard along with two other men, who had their faces covered. She said that she called to her husband, Gowkumar called ‘Mukesh’ that they were coming to frighten them but thought that it was just a prank.

However, seconds later, as the bandits reached the house; one whipped out a gun and ordered the persons outside to lie on the floor. Ramotaur said that she was sitting on a bench and did not know how she slid off but she slipped away and crawled out to the road to raise an alarm.

Meantime, the bandits ordered the others to lie on the floor and relieved them of cash and jewellery.  One man, who attempted to get up, was hit with a bottle. While the bandit with the gun stood guard, his accomplice forced one of the persons present upstairs at knifepoint. The bandit ransacked the rooms and took US$350 and jewellery worth $300,000, among other items. After about 15 minutes they left and by this time an alarm had been raised. Ramotaur said that the police came quickly and fired off several shots but the men had already escaped on foot.

The still-shaken woman recounted that, in an apparent bid to catch the family off guard, the bandits had waited on the road and forced the young man to go with them to the house. The young man, Ramotaur said, was at the home earlier but had left and was returning to his house when he was “collared” by the bandits, who reportedly told him that they were waiting for somebody to be able to get into the yard and he was forced in at gunpoint.

“Is the first time somebody come in me house and ransack the whole place”, a still-traumatized Ramotaur lamented. She related that she did not sleep in the house following the incident and it was not until yesterday morning that she determined the full extent of her losses.

Meantime, police said that their investigations revealed that Gowkumar along with five other persons were under his home socializing after a cricket match, when the two men entered and held them at gunpoint.

The perpetrators took away the victims’ jewellery along with a total of $62,000 and two cell phones and escaped, the police said. It was not clear where the man, who is currently in custody, was held.

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