Armed bandits on Wednesday night stole almost a million dollars in cash and valuables in an attack on an East Bank Demerara supermarket.
At around 7.30 pm, three men, all armed with guns and two of whom were masked, entered Fresh Mart Supermarket, at Covent Garden Public Road, East Bank Demerara and quickly relieved the owner, customers and staff of valuables along with the day’s sales.
The businessman, who asked not to be named, told Stabroek News that they were closing the supermarket when the attack occurred.
He said the men entered and forced everyone to lie on the ground. The victims were also told not to raise any alarm as the gunmen threated to open fire.
The owner of the supermarket said everyone complied with the request of the gunmen and handed over their valuables. The entire five-minute-long attack was captured by security cameras and the footage is being reviewed by the police.
Stabroek News learned that the bandits carted off a Samsung S6 Edge phone, worth $200,000, $300,000 in cash, a watch valued $25,000, a ring worth $300,000, and phone cards worth over $100,000.
Following the attack, the businessman voiced his disappointment at the “slothful service provided by the police.” He stressed that after the robbery he went to the Providence Police Station to make a report but was told they “closed off for the night.” The expression, he said, was used by ranks to indicate to him that their shift had ended.
However, he said police visited the scene and could not have taken any fingerprints and promised to return yesterday morning. However, they only returned yesterday after lunch.
He also believes that if the information given to the police was acted on immediately, there could have been some progress in the case.
The businessman said it is not the first time he has been robbed.
He further stressed that on previous occasions he had provided the police with information but nothing was ever done since he could not “provide a substantial lead” for the police to act on.
Currently, the man is conducting his own investigations to solve the crime committed.
Towards this end, he is offering, for a limited time, a reward of $1 million to anyone who can provide substantial information on the robbery. “I am offering a reward because I want justice not because I am robbed but because this needs to stop.
As a businessman I am fearful,” the owner lamented.
The man also stated that a man visited his supermarket about a month ago and tried to scam his business. He stated that he made the public aware via social media but was later arrested after the man filed a report against him.
He also alleged that a detective tried to con him of $2 million from the same matter. He said the detective had made him report to the station every day with his passport and kept telling him that the offence of defamation carries two years imprisonment.
The owner said he had a “royal runaround” with the matter and was placed on station bail.
He explained it was when a senior officer from the Brickdam Police Station got involved that the matter was “put to rest.”