A trader accused of robbing the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) of $42M in broad daylight last Thursday was yesterday remanded to prison after he faced multiple charges.
Stravo Evans, 31, of Lot 169 Middle Road, Georgetown stood accused of six charges when he appeared before Magistrate Fabayo Azore at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court 5.
It is alleged that on April 1 at Regent Street, Georgetown, Evans, who is a father of one, robbed Andre July of one G3 rifle and twenty-one rounds of 7.62 x 51 ammunition belonging to the Guyana Police Force. He is also accused of robbing him of $42, 522,000, property of the GPOC.
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It is also alleged that on the same day, the accused being together with others and armed with a gun robbed Darwin Hinds of one pit-bull minibus, PSS 6641 valued $3, 400, 270, belonging to the GPOC. Further, it is alleged that Evans on the day of the robbery, wrongfully restrained July and Hinds. And lastly, it is alleged, that the accused abducted the duo. He was not required to plead to the indictable charges.
The police case stated that on the day in question, around 7:45 hours, Hinds went to the Bourda Post Office in the pit-bull minibus and as he stopped, five men approached them, one of whom was armed with a gun. The men then pushed Hinds and the policeman out of the bus after which one of the suspects drove away in the said vehicle to Cemetery Road. The facts further stated that after the bus was driven away to Cemetery Road, another car drove up alongside and the accused and others removed the money and other items before making good their escape.
A gun was recovered along with a quantity of ammunition.
The prosecution objected to bail based on the seriousness and prevalence of the offences and the fact that a firearm was used.
During the proceedings, the quiet of the courtroom was disturbed by the ringing of a cell phone. It was later found that it was the defendant’s phone. It was taken away by a policeman after which the defendant accused the law enforcer of tampering with the phone which continued to ring. The policeman explained that he was just trying to turn the phone off.
The defendant is represented by attorney Peter Hugh who arrived almost at the end of the proceedings yesterday.
The matter will be called again on Monday before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.
Meanwhile, acting on intelligence yesterday morning, police ranks pulled a G3 rifle from a trench in East La Penitence. It is believed that this was the rifle that was stolen during the heist.
Police in a press release said that the rifle along with 20 rounds were recovered around 0910 hours.
Meanwhile, Crime Chief Leslie James told Stabroek News yesterday that the driver of the post office van has been released on bail while the police rank is on open arrest. The duo were arrested shortly after they turned up at the Brickdam Police Station to report the robbery. The gunmen who used the van as their getaway vehicle disembarked along Cemetery Road leaving the driver and the policeman inside.
James said that although one person has been charged the matter is still under investigation.