Foiled Republic Bank robbery: Magistrate to rule on no-case submission on April 14

L-R: Shawn Grimmond, Gladston George (white) and Anfernee Blackman, and Keron Saunders
L-R: Shawn Grimmond, Gladston George (white) and Anfernee Blackman, and Keron Saunders

Come April 14, 2021, Senior Magistrate Leron Daly will deliver his ruling on no-case submissions made by the defence on behalf of the four men who were accused of attempting to carry out a daring robbery at Republic Bank’s Water, Street, Georgetown branch on July 4, 2017.

Those charged are former Police Constables Anfernee Blackman of Laing Avenue, West Ruimveldt, Georgetown and Gladston George of Princes Street, Lodge, Georgetown; former Republic Bank employee Shawn Grimmond of Kitty, Georgetown; and Keron Saunders of Mocha, East Bank Demerara (EBD).

They were each released on $500,000 bail pending the hearing and determination of the matter. Another former employee of the bank, Jamal Haynes was also slapped with charges for attempting to commit a robbery and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

He was sentenced to a total of six years’ imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to the charges at his first court appearance in July 2017.

During the attempted robbery, 23-year-old Elton Wray, an agronomist, was shot dead by the Police. He was a beneficiary of a Government of Guyana scholarship to China and graduated with a degree in agronomy. At the time of his death, he was serving his second year of the five-year obligatory contract.

It was reported that Haynes and Grimmond knew that businesses would have deposited substantial amounts of cash into the chutes through night deposits. As such, a plan was hatched for the robbers to grab that money which would have been emptied into a canister by a female employee.

However, things went awry when their accomplices broke into the bank without knowing that they had received a text message from Grimmond who was already at work informing them to hold off since the employee who was supposed to open the canister was not at work.

After receiving reports of the robbery, Police responded promptly. The bandits engaged the officers in a shootout which resulted in the death of Wray. Haynes was also shot as he attempted to evade the lawmen. Saunders subsequently surrendered and was taken into Police custody.

The others were all implicated in the robbery by Haynes and were later arrested. Police said that three high-powered pistols were recovered from the crime scene.