Family suspects inside knowledge led to $7.4M Vryheids Lust robbery

Inside knowledge of the settlement of a longstanding debt is suspected to have led to the robbery committed on US-based Guyanese Deodat Ramdeo and his cousin, Deomattie Seeram, from whom over $7 million was stolen during a gun-point hold-up last Thursday.
This is according to Michael Seeram, the uncle of Ramdeo, to whom the cash belonged, and father of Deomattie.
“These bandits—What I can’t understand is how they know where I am living? How they know I am living in this street? How they were there before? Because, as far as everybody is concern, they were here before, because they ain’t see no motorcycle ride in, they ain’t saw no car coming behind them, but soon as they turn here, the bandits were right there,” Michael questioned.
Deomattie, a manager, of Middle Street, Vryheids Lust, East Coast Demerara, and Ramdeo were robbed around midday Thursday by two bandits, just as they returned home in a car, after cashing a cheque for $7.4 million at the Citizens Bank Main Branch on Camp Street.
Ramdeo, the police said, exited the vehicle to open the gate and was subsequently pounced on by two men, who arrived on a motorcycle.
One of the bandits approached Ramdeo and ordered him to lay on the ground, which he complied with, while the other bandit, who was armed, approached Seeram in the driver’s seat. The bandit pointed the gun at the woman and relieved her of the bag which contained cash and other documents, before making good their escape.
The bandits’ loot included the cash and important documents, such as the victims’ passports, driver licences and bank cards.
Michael explained to this newspaper that the cheque had been issued to Ramdeo, who had flown into Guyana last Sunday, by a businessman, Himmat Kumar Bhola, who had borrowed the money from him some 16 years ago.
“This money was owed to my nephew, which he [Bhola] borrowed to do some business over 16 years now,” Michael said while adding that Ramdeo had been trying to get back the money for quite some time and had been given a hard time.
“He was here in 2016, and they consult some lawyer, and he [Bhola] decide that he would will pay him by signing a promissory note,” Michael said.
He added that Bhola had asked for six months and from then until last week he had never honoured the deal.
He said several phones calls were made to Bhola in an effort to obtain the money but they went unanswered. However, about two weeks ago, Bhola answered the phone and agreed to make the payment after which an arrangement was made to meet at the lawyer’s office.
“My nephew demand that he don’t want no cheque, he want cash, he need cash, and he don’t want a cheque,” Michael said.
He further explained that Bhola insisted that he would not make the payment in cash. “He [Bhola] insist that he would not give him any cash. If he want cash, he have to go to his place at Parika, all the way at Hubu… but he is not paying him no cash in Georgetown,” Michael related.
Because Ramdeo needed his money, he said they had to accept the offer of a cheque from Citizens Bank.
At 2 pm on Wednesday, they met at the lawyer’s office and the cheque was handed over.
During the meeting, Michael said, Bhola asked Ramdeo when he was going to cash the cheque. “He [Bhola] ask meh nephew [Ramdeo] if he gonna change the cheque tomorrow [Thursday] or when and meh nephew told him, ‘Yes, tomorrow.’ And me daughter [Seeram] drove him to the bank and they went and change the cheque,” he further explained.
From the bank, Michael said, they went straight home without making any stops. Deomattie, he noted, would normally go to the bank regularly to transact business and has always been very cautious. She observed her surroundings throughout the drive home and he said she did not notice being trailed by anyone, even when they turned through the street to go to their home.
“…So, all the way through they were checking. When they come in the street, there were no visible signs of any other vehicle behind them, or a motorcycle or anything like that,” he said.
They had turned onto the bridge to drive into the yard and Ramdeo exited to open the gate when he was approached by the bandit. “She didn’t come out the car. He came out and he open the first half of the gate and when he open the second half, there was the guy [bandit] turn up and put the gun to him and tell him to ‘Lay flat on the ground and don’t move or I will shoot yuh,’” Michael related.
While all this was happening, he said, the accomplice sat on the motorcycle.
The armed bandit then turned his attention to Deomattie, who was seated in the car and held her at gunpoint, while demanding that she hand over the bag with the money or he would shoot. “When he demand now, she refuse to give the bag and then he tek the gun and put it to her face and he crank it and tell her ‘If yuh don’t give the bag I gone shoot yuh,’” he said.
Fearing for her life, she handed over the bag of money,
The men were not masked but wore hats, which concealed their faces. They rode away calmly.
At the time of the hold-up, Deomattie’s mother and sister were inside the house and her father was at his business place a few houses away. No one was aware that a robbery was in progress until after the attack.
Persons in the area told the family that they had noticed a person on a black motorcycle going “up and down” shortly before the attack.
An investigation has been launched by the police but no arrest has been made as yet.

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