- Overseas based Guyanese family robbed, cop shot in face while responding to call
HAMPSHIRE VILLAGE, CORENTYNE – The daughter of a New Jersey-based
Guyanese family vowed never to return to Guyana after gun-toting bandits
attacked them at a Hampshire home, on the Corentyne Wednesday night.
A policeman was also shot and hospitalized.
The bandits shot a 20-year-old policeman, Constable 20387 Sharam Singh, of Lot 72 Mara’s Lodge, Essequibo, in the face on Wednesday night after storming the house and carting off millions in cash and jewellery from their victims, who included overseas-based Guyanese.
The policeman was struck by shotgun pellets while he and other ranks were driving to the scene of the robbery, which was committed around 19:30 hrs by five masked men, armed with three shotguns and a handgun.
Constable Singh has been admitted to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation in a stable condition having been transferred from the New Amsterdam Hospital. He is yet to undergo surgery.
Police investigating the robbery have detained a taxi driver and a sugar estate employee and have also impounded the suspected getaway car at the Albion Police Station. Both suspects are from Hampshire.
Detectives recovered four spent cartridges from the scene. Two of the victims, including a woman, were beaten during the attack.
Police identified the victims as Ramsammy Moonsammy, 53, of Lot Seven
‘A’ Hampton Public Road, Corentyne, his wife, Nadeira Moonsammy, 47,
Laleena Moonsammy, 20, a student of Houston County College, USA, and Rasheeda
According to Laleena Moonsammy, the robbers made off with approximately US$11,000 in cash, gold and diamond jewellery, mobile phones, a camera, an Ipod and other paraphernalia.
Police in Berbice reported that the bandits escaped with two digital cameras, a quantity of jewellery, US$7,000 and $600,000 in local currency. The money was said to be stored in a wardrobe
The police also reported that the patriarch and one of his daughters were beaten with the weapons.
Laleena Moonsammy suspects that the ordeal her family experienced was set-up by a relative who is only interested in her family’s money, jewellery and typically what Guyanese call ‘prags’.
“While the robbers have us upstairs, everybody downstairs were beaten except this one guy (name given). He was basically laughing throughout this whole thing; nothing happened to him. The men even threatened to shoot little kids if they didn’t stop crying.”
The woman added that her mother had made some gold jewellery for a relative in the United States.
The father, Ramsammy Moonsammy, arrived in Guyana on November 1 to return to his adopted homeland within three weeks. His wife, Nadira, their two children Laleena and Ruchma, along with Ruchma’s husband, Lincoln Maharaj, 22, came on November 13 for a ten-day visit.
Laleena recalled that her family hosted a barbeque and their visitors – about 20 relatives and friends — were all under their home entertaining. She and a friend she called Suraj, who lives at Belvedere, were downstairs at the bottom of the front stairway chatting on Wednesday night when she observed her cousin, Budo, of Hamphire Back entering the yard.
Budo’s had his hands in the air and behind him was a man wearing a mask. She assumed that it was prank and did not take the situation seriously. “He had a silver gun and I thought it was a joke. The guy said get down on the floor and I started laughing. The man told me to take off my two pairs of jingles and my name band.”
Laleena Moonsammy said her jewellery carried a US$1,500 price tag. “When I was taking them off the man come and he grab me and say take the f***ing thing off. There were five of them in all and they were armed. While some of them ran in the back, some stayed under the house. The first pair (gold jewellery) I took off and I put it in my panty and when he pulled me down on the floor one of the jingles fell out. Then he reached into my panty to get the others.
“When I reach down on the floor I saw him kick my daddy.”
She said the man told her to lie on the ground between her father and her cousin then subsequently took them upstairs to get all the money.
“He held the gun to my daddy head or neck, search him and told him to take off all his jewellery. My daddy had a lot; like six rings, two fat bands all gold and a gold watch - everything is gold. The man dragged my mummy and told her to go upstairs and put the gun to her back.”
When they got to the upper flat, one of the robbers went to Laleena’s bedroom, another to their parents’ and the remainder stayed downstairs. While in the room she heard them hurling expletives as they demanded money and jewellery.
Nadira Moonsammy gave them a quantity of cash but still they were not satisfied and this time requested all the mobile phones, “While we were upstairs, one of them dragged daddy upstairs and I heard someone get knock and then I heard daddy scream. The bandit pulled me and told me to sit before he shoot me. I saw my daddy bleeding in the back of his head, the bandits also kicked him. Is the gun butt burst his head.”
The robbers reportedly made off with five pairs of gold and diamond earrings from Nadira Moonsammy.
Laleena recalled that it would have been more had it not been for quick thinking on her mother’s part. “She fooled them and told them these are fake (earrings). They are stupid so they believed her; then when my sisters go to give her earrings they (robbers) told her they don’t want, it was fake.
“My mummy ankle bracelets couldn’t come off and the man dragged her
foot with all the ankle brackets. They kick my mummy on her foot and beat her
with the gun on her face and my sister started screaming and the guy say if
she did not shut the f*** up they will rape her and we all have to watch.”
Laleena Moonsammy said even though they were scared they spared no effort to protect her brother-in-law, Lincoln Maharaj. “We hide him because if they had found him they would have killed him. He comes to Guyana a lot and wears a lot of jewellery. “
The gunmen never ceased their demands for more money and jewellery. “Me, my sister and mommy were all screaming for our lives. We lied and told them some man named ‘Swamp’ got the money and he is downstairs. One of the robbers, he left and went downstairs then he come back and say no man downstairs name Swamp.
“When they went downstairs we locked the doors to keep them out. When they realized they cannot get back in they start shooting downstairs…I heard about five shots…I didn’t see when the police guy was shot.”
She said that after all was done and the bandits left someone called police and ranks from both Albion and Whim responded in a timely manner.
The house is only used when they are in Guyana, basically it is locked up and someone would go each Sunday to keep a religious ceremony.
Friday, November 20, 2009