Masked gunmen grabbed some $10 million in cash and raw minerals from a miner during a well-planned home invasion at Industry, East Coast Demerara early yesterday morning.
Codwington John, 27, who had arrived in Industry from Kamarang, Upper Mazaruni the day before, has since fled from the area out of fear. Up to press time last evening, police in ‘C’ Division were still looking for the five bandits who kicked down the doors at the Lot 119 Sixth Street house to attack the miner. Although police said that two men carried out the attack, residents recalled seeing five men fleeing together.
According to police, the attack occurred at about 2.30 am and the attackers took away a bag containing $3.7 million, a quantity of raw gold and a diamond, along with a cell phone.
They escaped in an awaiting car.
John’s friend, Dexter Rutherford, who was present during the attack, told Stabroek News yesterday that the terrified businessman “gone and book a room… cause he can’t stay hey.”
John was staying in the front room of the bottom-flat of the apartment and Rutherford, his fiancée and their three-year-old son were in another room.
He said that he first heard “bam! bam!” on the door before it was kicked open. The men then proceeded to the bedroom, where John was and kicked down that door. The damage on both doors was visible and a partial boot print was visible on one of them. He said the men entered the house asking for the money and gold. “They went into John room and they ask him for de money that they probably knew that he had,” he said, while adding that his terrified friend pointed to the bag containing the money and minerals. After grabbing their booty, the men fled.
According to Rutherford, John was gun-butted but no one else was harmed by the men, who did not spend more than two minutes in the house. He said some of the men were masked while others had handkerchiefs pulled over their noses. He added that John told him that two of the men were armed with guns.
Neighbours, Rutherford said, later told them that three of the bandits exited the house first and the other two followed shortly after. The quintet then boarded a car which was parked on Fifth Street. Police arrived some time later, after receiving a report.
John, Rutherford said, operates a shop at Kamarang and also buys and sells gold. He added that John seldom comes out of the interior and Monday’s visit was the first in a long time. With crime in the area almost non-existent, Rutherford concluded that John was being watched.
After trying to repair the damaged front door, Rutherford and his family left. He said they too would be spending the night at another location since they were scared.
They moved to the area about one month ago.