A gang of masked gunmen on Monday evening invaded a Mibicuri, Black Bush Polder home, where they beat the occupants and robbed them of about $2M in cash and jewellery.
The men, who are believed to have numbered around eight, also exchanged gunfire with a resident and shot at police before escaping from the area.
The attack occurred sometime between 6:30pm and 7pm at Lot 50E, Mibicuri South,
where a hardware store and gas station are being built. The caretaker of the property and residents believe that the setting up of the business, owned by Ricky and Roseanne and Temal, of the USA, is the main reason why bandits targeted the house.
Up to yesterday, police investigators were seen conducting investigations at the crime scene. It is believed that the bandits, who did not use any apparent transportation to get to the area, belong to the area but no suspects have been identified.
Stabroek News was told that the gunmen split up during the attack, with a few guarding the bottom flat and outside of the house, while others went to the top flat.
Shafora Subhratally, 36, and her husband, Mohamed Salim, 40, and her daughter, Farina Salim, 16, who live in a neighbouring property, were visiting the house like they normally would when the attack occurred.
At the time, they were sitting downstairs in the hammock gaffing, Subhratally said, when they heard some running in the street. Before they realise what was going on, they were surround by the men, who were armed with “long and short guns.”
The men instructed them to lie on the floor and not to scream. As they did as they were told, one of the men broke a light bulb that was under the house, leaving the place in near darkness.
Subhratally, who said the men asked where the gold and money were, later transferred her and her family to the kitchen in the bottom flat of the home, where they were guarded by three men while three others rushed upstairs.
The men took off the jewellery that she and her daughter were wearing at the time, she said, while adding that they were brutally beaten with the guns. She was kicked and punched about her abdomen, head and limbs. She added the men also dealt lashes to her husband, which resulted in him suffering an injury. The man later received three stitches for his wound.
Subhratally estimated her family’s losses in jewellery to be close to a million dollars.
The three men reportedly ransacked the entire bottom flat to see what other items they could make off with.
After the half an hour ordeal, the men locked the family up in the kitchen and fled the scene. Subhratally and the others went upstairs and waited a while before they started to raise alarms.
Meanwhile, Andy Anderson, 37, the caretaker of the property, said he was upstairs, when he heard his neighbour screaming, “Ow ayuh nah kill abi!” He added when he heard the instructions given to his neighbours, he suspected it was a robbery and tried to escape through the back veranda of the upper flat. But before he could have done so, the bandits greeted him with guns in their hands.
Anderson said when the bandits caught up with him, they stuck him up and started to demand money along with jewellery. They also beat him with their guns.
Anderson indicated that most of the cash and jewellery the robbers later fled with belong to his sister, who is co-owner of the business. He was unsure of the exact figure of their losses but estimated that it is roughly over nine hundred thousand. Anderson was also robbed of a cellular phone but it was recovered by an investigator, who found it in bushes under a trailer near the house.
Anderson recounted that after the half an hour ordeal, he was locked upstairs inside a washroom and was told if he moved or alarmed anybody they would return and kill him. He said he stayed inside the bathroom until the men left before he went and checked on his neighbours, who were downstairs.
Another neighbour, Hardat (only name given), who is a licensed firearm holder, said that after he heard the screams, he fired two rounds on the bandits, who fired back at him. He said he released two other rounds at the men.
He also alerted the police about the crime and when the lawmen arrived in Black Bush Polder bandits from another location opened fire on them. He explained they fired back at the men, who did not respond. Anderson was grateful to Hardat for firing and chasing off the bandits.