Kitty gold establishment heist: $18M found buried in backyard of GDF Sergeant
…husband, wife arrested
…2 ex-military personnel being pursued
As investigations intensify into the multimillion-dollar heist on Wallison’s Enterprise on Thursday last, members of the Major Crimes Unit of the Guyana Police Force working with information received unearthed $18 million of the $38 million that was taken during the robbery.
The money was found buried in the backyard of a Guyana Defence Force Sergeant’s home at Vergenoegen, East Bank Essequibo (EBE), on Saturday evening. Based on a video seen by Guyana Times, the money was neatly wrapped in transparent plastic and placed in a bucket.
The bucket was then wrapped in two black garbage bags and buried in a hole. Acting on intelligence, the detectives along with several members of the business community particularly the gold industry travelled to the area where the Sergeant was arrested.
A search conducted on his premises did not unearth anything but checks in the yard pointed to a disturbed area. Upon checking, ranks realised that the area was freshly dug and further inspection led to the discovery of the bucket.
Nevertheless, based on Police sources, they were provided with information that implicates two ex-GDF ranks. As such, a team of Police went to a village on the East Coast of Demerara in pursuit of the two others.
When contacted, Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum told Guyana Times that after the robbery, investigations led ranks to Sophia at one of the suspect’s homes where several items from the robbery were found. “With the information gathered, ranks went to a residence over the river where we made the discovery,” Blanhum said.
He confirmed that the chief security along with another security officer attached to the gold establishment remain in custody. In addition, the wife of the GDF rank was also arrested as accessory to the robbery.
Guyana Times understands that one of the wanted ex-military personnel involved in the robbery was previously charged for armed robbery.
On Thursday last, three armed men who posed as customers robbed the establishment of $20 million in gold and $38 million in cash.
It was reported that at about 10:00h on the day in question, the three suspects arrived at the Gordon Street business in a white car, and entered the compound through the main gate, after indicating to the security guard that they had gold to sell.
The suspects then entered the waiting area, where they spoke to the female cashier and showed her a small package which they claimed contained the gold they wanted to sell.
Immediately after, they whipped out their guns, and ordered her into an office where the money and gold were secured.
At the time, another employee and a man were in the office, and they were also held at gunpoint even as the cashier was ordered to open the two metal safes. After collecting the valuables, the bandits locked the victims in the office and made good their escape.
The victims managed to set themselves free, and the cashier raised an alarm and the security officer went to their rescue.
However, based on CCTV footage seen by Guyana Times, at about 10:04h one man entered the establishment and started to speak with an employee, Wazim Kassim, about selling gold. Soon after, he was joined by a second person, and later by a third.
Upon entry of the third man, the visitors all went into their bags and pulled out firearms. Thereupon, they held Kassim at gunpoint and tied his hands behind his back.
Having donned masks and dark shades, the three armed men then entered another section of the establishment and held three other employees at gunpoint. They then tied up a female and another male employee, and started to demand money and gold.
After committing the heist, the men relieved the victims of their cell phones, before using duct tape to gag the employees prior to locking them in one of the offices and making good their escape.
The Police were immediately contacted and soon after the security officer who was on duty at the time of the robbery was arrested. Investigations are ongoing.