Bandits terrorise Berbice Pastor; demand ‘church money’

Kalyan Etwaru
Pastor Kalyan Etwaru

Armed bandits on Thursday morning broke into the home of a Pastor at Letter Kenny on the Corentyne, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and threatened to shoot him if he did not hand over the church’s money.

Kalyan Etwaru, who heads the Letter Kenny Full Gospel Church and is also a teacher at the Port Mourant Secondary School, related that he was severely beaten by the bandits who demanded he hands over the church’s money.

Speaking with INews, the Pastor stated that he retired to bed at about 22:00h on Wednesday evening and shortly after 01:00h on Thursday, he woke up to the sound of breaking glass.

“I thought a cat had come into my kitchen. Usually, cats come into my kitchen so I was coming downstairs and, on my way down, when it reached the last step, there were two guys in front of me; one with a gun and one with a cutlass”.

Pastor Etwaru said that one of the intruders punched him, causing him to fall backwards. He was then instructed not to make any sounds.

Etwaru said he was pushed flat on the floor as one of the bandits demanded the keys for the church, stating that they were there for the money box.

“I said I don’t have the keys for the money box. It is the janitor that usually keeps the keys”. Upon stating that, he was further kicked and assaulted by one of the intruders.

Etwaru further disclosed that there was a third man keeping watch outside the house. He had reportedly unscrewed a bulb to make the area dark.

“He asked me to call out my neighbour for him to open his door but I told him that my neighbour does not sleep at that house”, he recalled.

However, he was then taken to the upper flat of the building where he was instructed to sit in a chair while two of them ransacked the house.

During that period, the intruder with the gun demanded gold and money but the Pastor said he did not have any.

“We went back downstairs and he pointed the gun straight at me and told me that if I did not give him the money, he was going to shoot me.”

The bandits removed $250,000 from the Pastor’s home before making good their escape. The money, according to the Pastor was missionary funds. After the men left, the Police were contacted and commenced their investigations.