Fugitive among four remanded over multi-million East Canje robbery

A fugitive murder accused was among four men charged on Wednesday with a multi-million dollar robbery at East Canje.

At the Reliance Magistrate’s Court, Magistrate Adela Nagamootoo remanded murder accused Abdulssalam ‘Sato’ Azimullah, of Lot 183 Hampshire; Tameshwar ‘Rambo’ Khemraj, 26, of Lot 178 Nigg Settlement; Deon ‘Bucko’ Fraser, 23, of Adelphi; Deodat ‘Popcorn’ Seecharran, 19, of Edinburgh Village, who were jointly charged on two indictable counts of robbery.

It was alleged that they robbed Inderjeet “Chris” Persaud and his wife Melissa Fernandes on June 2, 2012, at Cumberland Public Road, East Canje.

The men were not required to plead.

The court heard that the quartet, armed with a gun and knife, allegedly robbed  Persaud of two gold chains, valued $450,000; four gold rings, valued $200,000;  a gold bangle, valued $200,000; and a stainless steel and gold band worth $30,000, along with $11,000 cash. They have also been accused of robbing Fernandes of $185,000, TT$10,080, four cellular phones worth $220,000 and a quantity of gold jewellery valued $550,000.

Police Corporal Roberto Figueira told the court that on Saturday June 2, Persaud, who operates a taxi service and barber shop from his home, was about to close his business premises when the four unmasked men hurried into his yard, demanding cash and other valuables.

They allegedly inflicted a severe beating on Persaud and his wife. During a 29-minute long attack, the men bound Persaud and forced him to lie on the ground while they inflicted wounds on Fernandes as they ordered her to hand over valuables.

The couple’s eight-year-old daughter was also in the premises at the time of the attack.

Persaud eventually persuaded the men to travel to a house in Edinburgh, where they were all captured by police.

In light of the nature and gravity of the attack and the fact that a gun was used, Figueira later objected to bail.

He also told the court that the men may not attend court, particularly Azimullah, who had been committed to stand trial for murder at the Berbice assizes.

Azimullah was jointly charged along with two others with the unlawful killing of Gary Simon, on December 17, 2004, but he subsequently fled the jurisdiction after the Albion Magistrate’s Court had ruled that a prima facie case had been made out against him on the lesser count of manslaughter and had granted him bail.

The Director of Prosecutions subsequently ordered that Azimullah and two co-accused—Ganshan “Suresh” Jagassar and Devindra ‘Baro’ Harrichand—be committed to stand trial for the capital offence.

However, Azimullah could not be located and it had been reported that he had fled from East Berbice. Azimullah had told the court that he lived with his mother and wife at Hampshire but worked as a miner in the interior.

Magistrate Nagamootoo ordered the men to return to court on June 27 for bail review.

After the case was adjourned, the relatives of one of the accused accosted Fernandes but police quickly intervened and the parties went their separate ways.

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