Businessman Purushotam Nauth, who was shot and robbed of $8M by bandits, yesterday succumbed while recovering from a surgery to remove the bullet.
Nauth, 49, died at the Woodlands Hospital, where he had been transferred to undergo the surgery.
At their Lot 710 18th Street Foulis, East Coast Demerara home, Nauth’s wife Latchmedai told Stabroek News that on Tuesday they transferred him from the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) to the private facility to have the bullet removed. They were informed by the doctors at the GPH that the bullet could remain where it was lodged—under Nauth’s jawbone—and that it would not pose any harm, she explained. However, still afraid that the bullet could be a possible threat to her husband’s life, Latchmedai said they decided to have him transferred to the private hospital for surgery.
Nauth’s son, Richie, informed this newspaper that the four hour surgery ended around 11am on Wednesday and he was placed in the recovery room. Latchmedai explained that after the surgery, the doctors informed her that it had been a technical operation, since the bullet kept moving from its original position towards Nauth’s spine. She said they told her that initially they had tried operating from within his mouth, but this proved unsuccessful and so they tried cutting along and under his outer jaw. The doctors later told her that the surgery had been successful but advised that Nauth would have had to remain a little while longer in the hospital to recuperate, because his wound “would be very ruptured.”
When Latchmedai first saw her husband after the surgery, he opened his eyes and looked at her but did not speak, she said. However, he looked as though he was recovering well, she added. When she went to visit him again that evening, she said he did not look as he did in the morning. “To me he nah look that good yesterday [Wednesday] afternoon,” the woman said. When she and her family then returned to the hospital around 6am yesterday, they were informed that her husband “nearly dead jus now” and doctors and nurses were trying all they could to revive him. Nauth never reawakened.
Apart from Richie and Latchmedai, Nauth also leaves to mourn another son, Vicky.
Nauth was attacked and robbed by two men around 7.45am on Monday. Police said that at the time, Nauth was in the company of his cousin, Somal Persaud, 39, of Non Pareil, who was driving him in minibus BMM 6460. The robbers used two cars to sandwich the bus and Persaud told Stabroek News that 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 Nauth’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.
At the time of the incident, Nauth was on his way to the bank to deposit the $8M.
Latchmedai believes that the robbery might be the successor of an earlier robbery this year, in which bandits snatched a deposit book, which had all records of the time and dates that deposits are made. She speculated the person who had the deposit book had traced her husband through the information.
Police have made no arrests.