Businessman shot, robbed of $8M

A 49-year-old businessman is now a patient of the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH), following an early morning robbery during which he was shot and robbed of $8 million.

According to a police press release, at around 7.45 am yesterday businessman Purushotam Nauth, of Lot 710 18th Street, Foulis East Coast Demerara was attacked and robbed by two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun. The release said that at the time Nauth was in the company of his driver Somal Persaud, 39, of Non Pariel, in minibus BMM 6460, which two motor cars sandwiched, forcing him to stop.

Stabroek News yesterday spoke with Nauth’s wife Latchnedai, as well as Persaud.

Latchnedai said her husband was headed to the bank in Georgetown to deposit the money, adding that he would normally make the same trip on Mondays.
According to Persaud, called “Toney” he and his boss/cousin were heading west from Enmore on the Railway Embankment, when on entering Lusignan, they were blocked by a blue and grey van to the front and a white 212 to the back. “When I move to one side he go over there and when I move to the next side he go there too until he turn sideways in front of we and stop,” Persaud said. As soon as the vehicles came to a halt the occupant of the front vehicle ran to Persaud’s side of the bus, while the back vehicle’s occupant ran to Nauth’s side. He also added that from his observation it was only the bandit on his side who was brandishing a gun at the time.

The man said the robber close to him hit the window with the gun and broke it, and they both began demanding ‘the money’, which was lying in a haversack on the bus floor in front of Nauth at the time. He said the bandit on his boss’s side of the bus suggested that the other shoot him, so he closed his eyes and awaited the hit. Persaud said he heard the gunshot, and on opening his eyes he saw that his boss had been shot. He said the men grabbed the bag and returned to their respective vehicles, but he only saw the direction in which the front vehicle went.

Throughout the 10 to 15-minute robbery, Persaud related, “no one stopped to assist us and no one looked out from their homes”. He said he quickly drove to the Beterverwagting (B/V) Police Station, where a report was made, after which Nauth was rushed to the GPH.

Nauth’s wife related that her husband had told her that he did not even realise he’d been shot until Persaud brought it to his attention. “He say he hear the gunshot then he feel a numbness but he dint know he get shoot,” she related.

She said the bullet entered through his right shoulder, passed around the back of his neck and is now lodged under his left jawbone. He is scheduled for surgery.

The woman said once before, some time this year, while they were in Georgetown, after her husband had finished making a deposit at the bank, the bag was snatched by some men from the driver [who was sitting in the vehicle], while Nauth was in the washroom. That bag, she said, had some “change money” along with their deposit book, which has all records of the time and days deposits are made, and how much money.

She opined that this robbery could be a follow-up from the previous one, and speculated the person who had the deposit book had traced her husband through the information.

Investigations are continuing.

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