A Black Bush Polder couple was held hostage last Monday by a gang of would-be kidnappers who robbed them of over $1M in jewellery, cash and other valuables during a two-hour raid of their home.
Bibi Nafeema Hamid, 26, and Navindra Roopnarine, 36, a rice farmer, of Lot 187 South Mibicuri, were eventually left in their disabled car by the men, who were unable to contact the couple’s relations to demand a ransom.
According to Hamid, who is a mother of three, her family’s ordeal began at approximately 7:55 PM when Roopnarine, her common-law husband, returned home.
She said she heard him call but his voice sounded strange and when she eventually opened the door, she saw approximately five masked bandits. The woman screamed and ran into a bedroom and locked the door, while the bandits, who were armed with guns and a cutlass, entered her living room with Roopnarine.
Fearing for her life and the lives of her sleeping children, Hamid said she stood still in the room but paid keen attention to what was happening outside. She stated that the bandits turned on the lights in the house, tore a bedspread that was on the sofa and tied up her husband and left him in a corner of the living room. The men also dealt him several lashes as they demanded cash.
Hamid said the men eventually entered the bedrooms and started to ransack them in their search for valuables. They eventually entered the room she was in and moved quietly and whispered in an attempt to not wake up her 11-month-old son, who was sleeping, she added.
She stated they asked her where the money was and she gave them $25,000 she had in the house. She also handed over a quantity of jewellery and told the men that was all she had. However, as the men continued to search, they found another set of valuables. “I didn’t remember I had some stashed away… and they searched and find it… plus my mother had given me a set of jewellery to keep and they found that too… in all, the jewellery is about over one million dollars,” Hamid disclosed.
Additionally, the woman said the men went into her kitchen and cleaned out her cupboards. They also took a new flat screen television as well as clothing and footwear from her husband.
After spending approximately two hours in the home, Hamid said the men woke her daughters and placed them with the baby.
They gave them a bottle in case the baby would have woken up. Subsequently, the men tied up Hamid and Roopnarine and took them away in the couple’s car while demanding $4 million ransom.
Hamid said they went to the home of Roopnarine’s legal wife and then to her mother’s home but they got no responses when they called. Later, she said the men obviously knew personal information about her family.
As they left Yakusari Village and approached the entrance road for the Corentyne highway at Number 43 Village, Hamid recalled, the men stopped and put them out of the car. One of the gunmen then placed his gun to Roopnarine’s head and told him they needed $4M for their release.
However, as the bandits were working out the details of how they would collect their cash, Roopnarine’s family kept calling to find out what was happening. The bandits answered his phone and told them that he was out drinking. During this time, the bandits saw a vehicle approaching a distance away but took precautions and instructed the couple to return in the car.
The woman stated that as the vehicle got closer, the bandits jumped out of the car, punctured the wheels and escaped in the bushes with the stolen items.
Hamid stated they were stranded on the road for several minutes but used the time to try to free themselves. Hamid said the approaching car finally stopped a distance from them but as they were running towards it, the bandits, who were still hiding in the bushes, yelled at them and instructed that they go back to their car.
However, a person from the car called out to her husband by his alias and as they answered police and residents came out of the car and rescued them. Hamid stated too that as the news spread of their ordeal, residents arrived to search for the men but could not find them.
When asked why she thinks they were targeted, Hamid explained that her husband had sold a rice combine recently. However, he did not receive a cash payment, she noted.
Asked too if she had any suspects, the woman said no but pointed out that the men were obviously not from the Black Push Polder area as their dialect was different.
Hamid also said last April, while living at the same house she was robbed of millions in less than ten minutes. She recalled the men apprehended her while she was picking up her baby’s diapers. Hey took her upstairs and collected the valuables she had and walked out like nothing ever happened.