Police to seek legal advice on casino robbery suspects in custody

The police will today be seeking legal advice on the way forward in relation to the three suspects in custody in connection to the robbery at the Ramada Princess Casino on Friday morning.

Stabroek News was told yesterday that Wayne Griffith, Andrew Blackman and Junior Stewart remain in custody as investigators hunt for several other persons.

Griffith was arrested at the hotel after the robbery on Friday which left four employees and one police officer, Lance Corporal 17352 Andrew Richardson injured.

His arrest was followed by that of Blackman, a security guard at the casino. Stewart was arrested on Sunday evening at his sister’s house in Vreed-en-Hoop. A bag consisting of $922,000 was also discovered. All the money was wet.

Contacted last evening, Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum confirmed that the trio remained in police custody and was being grilled by investigators up to last evening.

The Guyana Police Force had said in a statement that four gunmen entered the casino and discharged rounds in the air. They held up the security guard who was on duty and took away his shotgun and ammunition.

According to the statement, the men then ordered everyone to lie on the ground and took the security guard to the cashier cage, where they held up the cashier and took away an undisclosed amount of local and foreign currency.

The perpetrators also discharged rounds indiscriminately, resulting in four employees sustaining injuries. Three patrons of the casino were also assaulted by the gunmen.

Police responded to a report and confronted the bandits at the hotel, where there was an exchange of gunfire, which resulted in the police officer being shot, the statement added.

Blackman who was arrested between Friday evening and Saturday morning, reportedly told investigators that he was one of two persons who planned the act. A source said that under interrogation, he admitted to providing the bandits with the strategic information needed.

Blackman said that he and an accomplice, who is still wanted, conducted surveillance of the casino on two occasions prior to the robbery. He worked on Thursday and ended his shift at 23:00 hrs, just over three hours before the robbery occurred.

He reportedly told investigators that once he came off duty, he met the other men in the city where they rehearsed the plan before he retired home. It was also decided that after the robbery was carried out, the bandits would meet at a house in Albouystown where one suspect resides, and split the loot.

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