Bourda Market stallholders were the target of bandits in a bold daylight attack yesterday, which prompted calls for better security.
The husband and wife who operate G Rahaman Bacchus wholesale and retail lost over $1M in cash and jewellery in the attack, during which they were also assaulted.
A visibly shaken Indira Dhandoo last night told Stabroek News that the incident occurred at around 5pm, as she and three workers, two males and one female, were shutting up shop. According to the woman, two of the workers had already exited the stall, and she and the other worker, Ameer, had just turned off the lights and were on their way out when she noticed the other two being force back into the stall.
She said five unmasked men, all armed, forced them all back into the stall and hit her and Ameer in the head with the guns, asking “weh de money?” They then forced the others to lie facedown on the ground, and she was taken to the back of the stall, where she showed them a drawer containing the last two days’ sales.
This, she said, they took out and placed in a black plastic bag, and she added that they also took some other plastic bags containing other personal items she had bought that day.
The woman said the bandits also took all their jewellery, a ring and chain belonging to Ameer, and two rings, a pair of earrings and a chain belonging to her. According to her, the bandits made off with an excess of $1M in cash and $300,000 in jewellery.
Dhandoo said the bandits later fled the stall and entered the one next door and held that stallholder hostage. Stabroek News was unable to make contact with the owners of that stall for comment.
According to Dhandoo and Ameer, who were present at the former’s residence, during the entire 20 minute scenario there were other stallholders and persons in the vicinity but all were either too shocked or too afraid to do anything. The police were summoned immediately following the incident, and this newspaper understands that their response was swift.
This is the sixth time that Goolmohamed Rahaman, owner of G Rahaman Bacchus, and his family have been robbed. In February of this year, the same stall at Bourda was vandalised by burglars, who carted off over $1M.
When questioned on his next move, the owner related that he was tired with the situation, and he’s not sure what his next move would be. He said, however, that he will be considering hiring his own personal armed security guards to protect his business. Rahaman, his wife and daughter all agreed that there needs to be better security measures taken to protect stallholders, especially during close-up time.