Kitty gold establishment heist: Trio confess to robbery
− to be charged today
The Chief Security Officer, who was also the personal security guard of the businessowner, has confessed to being the mastermind behind last week’s daring multimillion-dollar robbery of the gold establishment in Kitty, Georgetown.
Investigators on Monday also obtained confessions from another security officer who was attached to the business, and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Sergeant who was found with some of the stolen money buried in his yard. The two men admitted to being part of the plot to rob the gold establishment.
Guyana Times understands the two security officers are former army members.
The three men are expected to be charged sometime today and placed before the courts.
On Saturday night, ranks from the Major Crimes Unit of the Guyana Police Force unearthed $18 million of the $38 million that was taken during last Thursday’s robbery.
The money was found buried in the backyard of the GDF Sergeant’s home at Vergenoegen, East Bank Essequibo (EBE).
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.
When contacted on Sunday, Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum told Guyana Times that after the robbery, initial investigations led ranks to Sophia at one of the suspect’s homes, where several items from the robbery were found. He further stated that with additional intelligence gathered, investigators went to the soldier’s residence.
This newspaper understands that several members of the business community, particularly the gold industry, had also travelled to the area with investigators on Saturday night to arrest the GDF rank. During this time, a search was conducted on his premises but nothing was found.
However, checks in the yard revealed a disturbed area and upon checking, ranks realised that the area was freshly dug. Further inspection led to the discovery of the bucket with some of the stolen loot.
The Chief Crime had indicated on Sunday that the GDF Sergeant’s wife, who is also a serving member of the army, was also taken into custody as accessory to the robbery.
Further, this publication was told by Police sources that they were also provided with information that implicates two other ex-GDF ranks, who had executed the daring heist. As such, a team of Police went to a village on the East Coast of Demerara in pursuit of the two others but that was futile.
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 Wallison Enterprise of $20 million in gold and $38 million in cash.
The Police had 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.