Corentyne robbery spree: Alleged gang members remanded

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Three men who turned themselves into Police three days ago were remanded after appearing in two courts to answer to a total of 17 charges.

The charges included 15 robberies committed on Corentyne residents recently.

From left: Premchan Ramsohai, Surish Kowlessar, Mathew Gangapersaud and Vishal Ramdass

Only three of the four were in court on Wednesday to answer to the charges.  The fourth accused gang member – Premchan Ramsohai, 22, also known as “Akash”, of Ankerville, Port Mourant appeared on Tuesday in two courts to answer similar charges and was remanded at the Whim Magistrate’s Court and sentenced at the Albion Magistrate’s Court.

Ramsohai of lot 19 Ankerville appeared at the Whim Magistrate’s Court charged with robbery under arms committed on Gankee Bisnauth, 54. Bisnauth was robbed of her gold jewellery, a Samsung Galaxy cellular phone, and $60,000; all totalling $408,000.

He is also charged with stealing a cellular phone from Navini Deoki, and a laptop computer. Another charge stated that he robbed Anthony Dudnauth and three others of cash, gold jewellery and cellular phones at Ankerville. He was not required to plea and will have to return to court on April 19.

Ramsohai also appeared at the Albion Magistrate’s Court to answer eight robbery charges. He pleaded guilty to all and was sentenced to three years imprisonment. The sentences are to run concurrently.

The Police had allegedly arrested him moments after a robbery on Saturday evening. At the time of his arrest, he had a T-shirt in his crotch which is believed to have been used as a face mask during the robbery.

The man also allegedly escorted the Police to where the firearm was kept , while naming his accomplices.

On Wednesday, Surish Kowlessar, 20, of Ankerville Port Mourant; Vishal Ramdass, 26, of Number 77 Corriverton; and Mathew Gangapersaud, 21, of Ankerville were slapped with seven robbery under arms charges when they appeared before Magistrate Charlyn Artiga at the Number 51 Magistrate’s Court.

The robberies were allegedly committed at Miss Phoebe, Port Mourant and Ankerville between February 2 and March 16, 2018.

A total of $1.1 million in cash, jewellery and electronic devices was allegedly stolen from five persons by the quartet.

Meanwhile, at the Reliance Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Renita Singh, the trio were charged with two counts of discharging a loaded firearm; each on a different day and place, possession of a .32 Smith and Wesson revolver and matching ammunition and eight counts of robbery under arms – all committed at High Reef Albion, Sand Reef Albion and Chesney; another Corentyne Village between March 6, and 24.

The men were not required to plea to any of the indictable charges which accused them of robbing persons of a total of $732,000 in local and foreign currency, jewellery and cellular phones.

One of the charges stated that the men used three firearms and a cutlass when they went to one house. For most of the other charges, it is alleged that they used one firearm.

Police Prosecutor, Lance Corporal Shinel Matterson objected to bail, noting the prevalence of the offence, that the firearms were used and that there have been a series of similar offences in the same community.

Inspector Althea Solomon assisting the prosecution told the court that all three accused were previously charged before. Ramdass, she said, was the alleged ringleader for the bandits during another robbery sometimes back.

Meanwhile, Ramdass told the court that he was beaten by the Police. According to the labourer of Number 77, Corriverton, he started to vomit blood after being beaten by the Police.

He showed the court marks on his back from the alleged Police beating.

He also told the court that during the interrogation, his head was tied in a plastic bag and he was choked with his own belt.

Gangapersaud told the court that he too was beaten and had to seek medical attention. He was allowed to drop his pants to show the court the bandage he received on his left knee when he was taken to the New Amsterdam Hospital on Tuesday evening.

Kowlessar also told the court that he received injuries as a result of beatings from the Police while in custody.

Nonetheless, the Magistrate refused bail. The trio will have to attend the Albion Magistrate’s Court on April 16 when the matters come up again.

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