Bandits cart off $9M from overseas-based Guyanese

- Probe launched to investigate

allegations of poor police response

An overseas-based Guyanese family and their relatives were robbed of more than $9M in cash and jewellery during a daring robbery at School Street , Betsy Ground in East Canje .

And once again the police are being criticised for their slow response.

The incident occurred around 03:20hrs yesterday morning while the family was still up enjoying a few drinks. At the time there were about 22 persons in the home, the majority being children.

Kaieteur News understands that three bandits entered the house and asked for “the white lady and the white girl.” A source said that the one of the visitors, 50-year-old Dhanmat Singh, hid herself in a room.

The bandits then grabbed her daughter Parbattie and threw her on to a mattress and threatened to rape her. This forced the family to cooperate with the bandits.

Dhanmat Singh said the family returned to Guyana to renovate her home.

She reported being robbed of Can$10,000, some of which had been brought for other persons. She also lost about $40,000 in jewellery.

The woman claimed that she was beaten in the head with a gun butt and lashed behind her head with a cutlass. Her husband, 54-year-old Ramjeet Singh, and their 31-year-old daughter, Parbattie Singh, both said that they suffered the most at the hands of the bandits.

A tearful Parbattie said that she and her father were manhandled by the bandits for close to two hours.

She recalled that the bandits entered the yard by breaking out a portion of the fence.

They then fired a round which hit the window and tried to force their way into the house. A police press release stated that the victims locked themselves in the building and were forced to open the door after threats were made to them.

Parbattie said that she counted seven bandits but another relative said there were nine of them.

Parbattie was relieved of Can$5,000, jewellery worth Can$60,000 and G$600.

Ramjeet Singh said he lost his wallet, watch, a gold chain, Can$300 and G$8,000.

According to the family, all their travel documents were stolen. Also suffering from the ordeal were Parbattie's four children — seven-year-old Stephen, five-year-old Melanie, three-year-old Melissa and 18-month-old Vanessa, who all reside in Canada . The family claimed that they suspected that something was brewing when they saw some masked men near the home around 23:00hrs.

Some of the men were armed with guns while the others had cutlasses.


They told this newspaper that they called for police even before the robbery had taken place. According to the victims, a call made to the Reliance Police Station which went unanswered. Another call was made to the Albion Police Station and ranks there told the family to contact the central Police Station at New Amsterdam .

This was done and the family was assured that an armed patrol was on its way. But they never arrived until after the robbery.

The family believes that the robbery had been well planned. According to Dhanmat Singh, the family had migrated to Canada about 11years ago, and this may be their last trip back home.

Police said that five persons have been arrested and are in custody as investigations continue.

Meanwhile, an internal investigation has been launched into the slow response of the police.

A statement from Eve Leary said: “The Guyana Police Force wishes to express its concern over this incident in the light of the reported poor response by police ranks. As a consequence, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of the Office of Professional Responsibility(OPR) has been tasked to investigate and report in relation to police action taken prior to and after the robbery.”

Wednesday, May 17, 2006