Uree Varswyk, accused of robbing the Post Mistress of the Wismar Post Office of more than $3M to be used for old age pension and national insurance payouts, was yesterday released on $300,000 bail.
The charge against Varswyk, 23, is that on June 3 at the Wismar Post Office, Linden, he, being together with another and being armed with a gun, robbed Ramona Singh of $3.8M, which was property of the Guyana Post Office Corporation.
Varswyk, an interior designer of James and Victoria Streets Albouystown, Georgetown, was not required to plea to the indictable armed robbery charge when it was read to him by Magistrate Fabayo Azore, before whom he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
The prosecution’s case is that Varswyk and another person, who were both dressed in black, stormed into the post office and robbed Singh of the cash.
Prosecutor Ramsahoye Rambajue explained that the money was at the post office to be paid to old age pensioners and National Insurance Scheme (NIS) beneficiaries. He added that Police Constable Elias, the uniform police sentry, was at the time on duty at the post office armed with his service rifle and 25 rounds of ammunition.
According to Rambajue, at about 8:30am, Varswyk and his accomplice barged into the building and relieved Elias of his firearm after a scuffle. The court was further told by the prosecutor that the one of the robbers was armed with a hammer and the other with a gun.
Rambajue said that the one who was carrying the hammer shattered the counter glass and entered the office area, where Singh was relieved of the money.
The court then heard from the prosecution that the men made good their escape with both the money and the policeman’s loaded firearm. It is the second time in about three years that the post office, located at the junction of Jordan Road and First Street, Silvertown, has been robbed of cash by bandits.
Rambajue objected to Varswyk being admitted to bail citing the seriousness and prevalence of the offence. He contended too that the accused has pending matters before the court and if admitted to bail there is a likelihood he will not return to stand trial.
But attorney Patrice Henry, who represented Varswyk, successfully challenged the prosecutor’s objections, arguing that his client had an alibi. Henry said that at the time the robbery is said to have taken place, his client was in Georgetown from 7am to about 1pm. This, he said, can be substantiated by six witnesses.
Henry also noted that Varswyk has been cooperating with police investigations, pointing out that he voluntarily went to police after receiving information that the police had gone to both Varswyk’s and his girlfriend’s home to find him. He said that it was while in custody that the allegation was put to Varswyk that he was one of the suspects in the robbery.
The prosecutor had reported that the accused was placed on an identification (ID) parade, but could not produce to the court the document to substantiate this claim.
Vigorously contesting this, however, Henry said that the police could have no such records since he had instructed his client not to participate in any ID parade since photographs of the alleged robbers were being circulated to potential witnesses.
After hearing the case, Magistrate Azore informed Varswyk that he would be granted bail to the tune of $300,000. The case was transferred to the Christianburg Magistrate’s Court, where it will be called on June 25.