Businessman remanded for illegal gun, ammo; says he was threatened by wife

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Accused Businessman: Rabindra Rampersaud
Accused Businessman: Rabindra Rampersaud

[www.inewsguyana.com] – A 40 – year – old Schoonard, West Bank Demerara businessman was today (January 15) remanded to prison by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry after he was charged with having an unlicensed gun and matching ammunition, which were found during a police search of his house.

Hours after ranks of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) swooped down on Rabindra Rampersaud’s residence he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court and pleaded not guilty to charges of unlawful possession of gun and ammunition.

Particulars of the two charges alleged that on January 15 at Block ‘Z,’ Schoonard, he had a .38 Taurus Pistol and 33 matching rounds of live ammunition without being the holder of a firearm license.

Police Prosecutor Bharat Mangru said acting on information received, a party of police ranks went to Rampersaud’s house and conducted a search in the presence of the businessman and his wife. He explained that as they raided the premises the gun and ammunition were found in a closet.

Mangru told the Court that when the couple was shown the items, the wife denied possession of it while Rampersaud admitted that it belonged to him.

According to the Prosecutor, the businessman said he had applied twice for a gun license over the past ten years but was refused so he bought the illegal weapon.

Mangru objected to the businessman being allowed his pretrial liberty citing the serious nature and prevalence of the offence. He argued too that no special reasons had been raised for bail.

Rampersaud was represented by Attorney-at-Law Ronald Burch-Smith. He said his client, a father of two, is well known in the West Demerara area and has never been arrested or charged before.

He said Rampersaud is going through a divorce and has been threatened by his wife on several occasions. Burch-Smith said his client has been living in fear of something like this happening for some time.

The lawyer told the court that his client, who owns several stalls at the Bourda Market, is not a flight risk and added that that society has no reason to fear his client.

Bail was refused and the case was transferred to the Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrates’ Court. The case will be called again on January 19.

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