An armed gunman yesterday robbed employees of Toolsie Persaud Limited of $16.9M as they were heading to a city bank during a well-planned attack which comes despite repeated pleas to the business community to be cautious when transporting large sums of money.

Up to press time last night police were working on some leads but the gunman was still at large.
Police said in a press release that around 1300 hours, Accounts Clerks Jonathan Dookie, 21 years, and Dewan Chand, 57 years of Toolsie Persaud Ltd; accompanied by two armed security guards, were on their way to the Bank in a motor vehicle which stopped at Sussex and Charles streets, Charlestown.

“At this point they were held at gunpoint by an armed man who approached the vehicle and took away a bag with some $16.9 million, along with a .32 Taurus Pistol and a .32 Taurus Revolver and ammunition from the two security guards and escaped in a waiting motor car”, the release said adding that investigations are in progress.

When Stabroek News made contact with Toolsie Persaud Limited, an employee confirmed that there was a robbery but said that he could not give details.

This newspaper was told to make contact with the company’s management but efforts to do so were futile.

Earlier this week a security seminar was told that careless businesses are attracting crime and that there has been a monumental rise in “inside jobs”.

Over the years there have been many instances where armed bandits have robbed employees and businesspersons of large sums of cash being taken to the bank to be deposited.

One such incident occurred early last month and resulted in a fatality and the loss of $8M.
On July 8 at Water Street, Kingston, Georgetown 72 year old Victor Da Silva was shot dead while his friend, gas station owner Cecil Gajadhar also 72 was shot and wounded. At the time when they were attacked they were heading to a bank. Gajadhar was robbed several times prior to that day.

Three persons have since been placed before the court in relation to that incident and are presently on remand.

Police officials have said that the robberies occurred owing to leaked information or collusion. Business persons have been urged to use security services to transport their cash but many have failed to take that advice even though it would cost less than $10, 000 per trip.

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