Visiting Guyanese flees country after chopped by bandits

Stabroek News
December 22, 2006

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An overseas-based Guyanese took the next flight out of the country after he and relatives he was staying with at Reliance, East Canje, Berbice were rudely awakened at 2 am on Tuesday by armed bandits, terrorized and robbed of cash and a quantity of jewellery.

The ordeal, which lasted for 20 minutes has left the visiting Shivpersaud Rambalie called 'Rambo' with a chop to his head and he has vowed never to come back to Guyana. He was also beaten with the butt of a gun.

Stabroek News learnt that two persons have been arrested in connection with the robbery. According to reports, just after the robbery took place police called the homes of the suspects, who are reportedly linked to another robbery committed on overseas-based Guyanese at Canefield recently and learnt that they were out.

Rambalie's sister Angamattie Punwa, 51, feels that information was given to the bandits that her brother was staying at the house. She said the robbery seemed well planned. Though she is sad at the losses they suffered, she is grateful that the bandits spared their lives.

Punwa said loud banging and the sound of glass breaking, jerked them out of their sleep. She said she asked her brother what was happening and he responded that he did not know. She decided to leave her room to investigate and came face to face with three masked bandits who were armed with guns and a cutlass.
"Dey scramble me and gave me something to smell and then they throw me down and tell me they gon shoot me and ah start to beg them," the woman said. They took $25,000 and US$800 from her.

She said the men then started to kick down the door to the room where her son Mahendra, daughter-in-law Kameeza Mohammed and her two grandchildren were. They ordered everyone out and placed them to lie on the floor. One of the bandits told Mahendra, "You ah de man we want long."

They beat him with the cutlass on his back and other parts of his body and he was forced to hand over $80,000, US$100 and gold jewellery.

Mohammed said she tried to cover her two-year-old daughter from seeing what was going on but the bandits noticed a silver band on the child's hand and promptly took it off.

They then attempted to enter Rambalie's room but when they found that he had secured the door, they proceeded to kick it down and threaten to shoot him. Punwa said she begged them not to kill him.

They managed to get into the room and ransacked it, stealing US$1,800, $20,000 and $350,000 in gold jewellery. They then dragged Rambalie out of the room, pushed him in a corner of the house and dealt him the chop.

Punwa felt that the nightmare would have lasted longer if the neighbours had not telephoned the police. She said a fourth bandit who was keeping guard downstairs called out to the others to run after he noticed the lights of the police patrol vehicle at the head of the street. (Shabna Ullah)