Three men armed with guns and knives pounced on a Rose Hall family early yesterday morning robbery yesterday and shot a worker, who unmasked one of them during a scuffle. The worker is currently in a stable condition at the New Amsterdam Hospital.
According to the victims, the bandits escaped with approximately $2.5 million in cash and a quantity of jewellery estimated at $1.5 million. In addition to a grocery store attached to their home, the family has been in the poultry business for over 30 years now.
Family member Vanisha Shrikissoon, also called ‘Vani’, 30, of Lot 438 Rose Hall said her brother and some workers were in the midst of plucking chicken, while she was getting ready to go to the market around 03:30 hrs yesterday, when three men stormed into the yard with kerchiefs tied around their faces.
She said the men tied her brother and the three workers at the back. While one of them stood guard, the two other bandits demanded cash, jewellery and a key to the house upstairs. She said, “I tell them I going and get the key, but before that, they start to cuff me in me head and I beg them to leave me alone.” She explained that one bandit ordered the other to stop hitting her. According to Shrikissoon after she collected the key, they proceeded upstairs, where her sister-in-law and her seven-month-old baby were. “I called on me sister-in-law to open the door,” she said.
Once the door was opened, one of the bandits took her straight to the room, opened the wardrobe and ordered her to take everything out. After this, he proceeded to her mother’s room which was locked. “He broke the lock and take out all the jewellery,” Shrikissoon said and then turned to her and demanded more cash and jewellery.
She said, “He take all the cash I had, wa we sell and all me jewellery.” Shrikissoon said one of the men then addressed her sister-in-law saying, “If you get a cousin that get that long hair, we gone kill he.” When her sister-in-law said that she did not have such a cousin, the men informed her that she was lucky.
Shrikissoon went on to explain that Samuel Fernandes, 20, a part-time worker with them, arrived at work a bit late that morning. According to her, Fernandes entered the yard and became suspicious, on seeing the strange men. Shrikissoon explained that he got in to a scuffle with one of the bandits, during which he dislodged the man’s mask. After the bandit realized that Fernandes had recognized him, he shot Fernandes in his shoulder. According to neighbours they heard three shots fired. Fernandes was subsequently taken to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital, where his condition was listed as stable up to yesterday afternoon.
Shrikissoon’s sister-in-law later told Stabroek News that she has a cousin who resides in the same village, whose boyfriend has long hair. According to her, the boyfriend has been in trouble with the law before.
Shrikissoon expressed her satisfaction with the police. “I called and within two minutes them reach,” she said. However, the bandits had already escaped.
Investigations into the robbery are ongoing. No arrest has yet been made.