Bandits invade Hubu home

Some of the documents left behind after bandits ransacked the Mohabir home at Hubu backdam yesterday morning. (Jules Gibson photo)

A sawmill operator and his family were beaten and robbed early yesterday morning when five armed bandits stormed their Hubu, East Bank Essequibo home making off with close to $1M in cash and jewellery.

The robbers also stole four Guyana passports containing US visas before locking the front door and making good their escape. Police responded shortly after, but a pothole-filled access road severely impeded their progress.

The quiet crime-free community was blighted yesterday morning, when the bandits pounced on Chrishna Mohabir's family. Mohabir who operates a sawmilling establishment is also the general manager of Parika Fish Port.

His wife, Savitri recalled that around 3.50 am one of her sons, Mark, was heard screaming while she and her husband lay half asleep. The woman said she peered through a crease in her bedroom door and then went out to be confronted with three men all armed with handguns and wearing masks; one commanded her to stay quiet.

"They were standing at the middle of the house and I was at the bedroom doorway, so when they said 'don't say a word' I still holler out, ran back into the bedroom and called out to my husband," the terrified woman related.

Point of entry: The five bandits who robbed a Hubu family yesterday morning broke out four louvre panes to gain entry into the house.

She said the bandits followed her into the room and while one apprehended her husband, one held her and the other ransacked the bedroom.

At the same time two other bandits were outside tormenting the couple's three sons. Mark Mohabir said he was half asleep when he heard the dogs barking. He got out of bed and was about to go outside when at the bedroom door his eyes locked with one of the bandits.

According to Mark, once he screamed the bandits seized him, went into the room and collected his two other siblings and brought them all out to lie face down on the floor.

They too were roughed up and Mark was kicked on his mouth. His lips were swollen when this newspaper visited.

Savitri said the three robbers severely roughed her up and ordered her and her husband around. "Whatever they told us to do we did it and maybe that's why they ain't shoot us," the woman said.

Asked about the bandits, the woman said they did not appear to have had special information on the family. She handed them the cash which she estimated to be in the region of $300,000.

She said the bandits carried out a thorough search of all the rooms and picked up most of the jewellery.

The bandits took two briefcases which contained the family's travel documents. They found four passports, one for Mohabir and three for his sons, two of which have ten-year US visas and the other two, two years and five years.

"We don't really travel, but we had plans going away to spend the holiday, but look what happen now," Savitri said.

She said as soon as the bandits collected the passports and were satisfied that they were valid they abruptly ended their operation and left. However, before one of them went through the door he called on his accomplices to kill Mohabir.

"Leh we kill this big man," Savitri quoted one of the bandits as saying. With the order, one of them, who was described as tall, slammed the businessman in the nose with his gun.

The bandits then ran out the house, locking the front door from outside and escaped into thick bushes in the Hubu backdam. Savitri admitted that they did not call the police immediately as they were traumatised and it was only after they recovered that a call was made to the Parika Police Station. She said the police response time was good, but the access road slowed them down.

Residents reacting to the robbery complained that the area does not have electricity or telephone service and with the state of the road, life was very hard.

They all agreed however that yesterday's robbery was the first in many years.