Three bandits this morning attacked and robbed the family of businessman Malcolm Panday at their Bel Air Gardens home but they were later nabbed in the compound of a Kitty hotel after a chase by the police through the streets of Georgetown.
Police this evening said six men are now in custody and cash was recovered with the arrest of the first three and then again with the others. (See police release below.)
Lawmen, who according to the victims responded within minutes of receiving a call, kept on the tail of the bandits who were using a white car, and with the help of a relative of the victims finally cornered the men in the compound of the Ocean Spray Hotel, Vlissengen Road. The men, reports say, had driven into the compound, exited the vehicle and exchanged gunfire with the police before scaling the fence.
The police caught up with them and the three men were arrested and put into the back of a police vehicle. One gun with live rounds was recovered but up to this afternoon the police and victims were still looking for a bag which the bandits escaped with that contained millions in local and US currency.
Annie Panday said the robbery occurred at around 11:30 this morning at their Lot 35 Bel Air Gardens home.
The still terrified woman told reporters that the two men armed with guns barged into their home and confronted her, employees and two young children. The woman said that they demanded money and asked her “where the safe deh” indicating that they knew what they came for. The woman, who said throughout the ordeal she was praying for the safety of her three and four-year-old children, initially indicated that she did not know the combination for the safe but after the men threatened to shoot her she opened the safe. They packed the cash into a bag they had and made their escape.
The police and the woman’s brother Sanjay were called simultaneously and according to Sanjay when he arrived on the scene the bandits were just driving away from the home and he decided to follow them.
The police caught up with the chase and it was the police and Sanjay who followed the bandits through Bel Air Gardens, into Duncan Street, then to Sheriff Street and onto Kitty Public Road. As they turned into Vlissengen Road they decided to abandon their attempt to escape and turned into the compound of the hotel.
Malcolm Panday was this afternoon high in praise for the response of the lawmen and said the police have been taking a lot of flak in recent times but in this instance their work was almost perfect. He feels that the police are now equipped to stamp out crime in Guyana.
The police release issued this afternoon said:
“The police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred at about 1130h. today at Bel Air Gardens, Georgetown, during which businesswoman Annie Ramsood, 32 years, was attacked and robbed by two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun.
“Investigations revealed that Annie Ramsood, along with her reputed husband Malcolm Panday, three children and domestic employees, were at home when the men entered the building. However, Panday managed to slip away and summoned the police from a neighbouring residence.
“Meanwhile the two men forced Annie Ramsood to open a safe from where they took an undisclosed sum of cash, comprising local and foreign currency, and escaped in a waiting motor car bearing registration plates PKK 3700.
“The police responded promptly to the report and subsequently intercepted the motor vehicle in the compound of the Ocean Springs Hotel, Vlissengen Road, Georgetown.
“Four men exited the vehicle and one of them opened fire on the police who returned fire. Three of the men were arrested and an unlicensed 9mm. pistol with 8 rounds, along with a sum of cash were recovered. The other man managed to escape.
“Further investigations led to the interception of motor car PMM 9436 at Front Road, West Ruimveldt, Georgetown, and the arrest of three other men and the recovery of a further sum of cash.
“The six men are in police custody assisting with the investigations and the two motor vehicles used by them have been detained by the police.”