Popular Diamond, East Bank Demerara businessman, Motielall Beharry, was beaten and robbed of an estimated $2.7 M in cash and jewellery by three gunmen who invaded one of his properties around 23:30 hrs on Sunday.
But Beharry believes that someone with whom the family has a dispute sent the men to harm his wife, Veronica Beharry, escaped the ordeal by hiding in a bedroom of the Cinema Street, Diamond premises.
Motielall was treated at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre for injuries he sustained after the robbers struck him in the head with bottles as he tried to fight them off.
One of the man’s tenants, Mahadeo Lall, was forced to hand over an estimated $500,000 in jewellery and US $100 to the men before they fled.
Beharry said that during the attack, the men, who all had handguns, repeatedly asked for his spouse, Veronica Beharry, who was hiding in a bedroom. The gunmen eventually kicked open the bedroom door, but she managed to escape via a partition in one of the walls.
The businessman recounted that he and his wife, accompanied by their six-year-old grandson, had attended a wake in the area around 20:00 hrs.
He said that after leaving the ‘wake house’, the couple headed for one of their properties in Cinema Street.
Beharry said that they left their six-year-old son in a hammock in the bottom flat of the two-storey house, while he and his wife went to a bedroom. He said that shortly after, they heard their grandson scream.
According to Beharry, he ran outside and saw a man holding his grandson. “But by the time I reach between the kitchen and the hallway one of them had a gun in my chest.”
The two intruders were accompanied by a third man, and they forced Beharry’s tenant, Mahadeo Lall, to lie on the floor.
The businessman recounted that the men began to ask him “where she (his wife) deh?” while one of them held his grandson.
Bandage on his head
“I said ‘she’s not there’ and one of them said that he would shoot me. I said ‘shoot’ and he pointed the gun at my foot and fired.” However, the bullet missed and Mahado decided to grab the man’s gun. A struggle ensued between the men, but the intruders eventually gained the upper hand after striking the businessman twice in the head with bottles and punching him in the face.
Beharry said that he managed to persuade the men to release his grandson.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Beharry said that while her husband was struggling with the gunmen, she switched off the bedroom light and bolted the door. She then managed to slip into an adjoining apartment by prizing apart one of the plywood walls.
Mr. Beharry said that after the men overpowered him, one of them kicked open the bedroom door and began to search for his wife.
According to Beharry, he began to scream and the gunmen, apparently unnerved by the noise, shouted: “Travis, let’s go,” to the one in the bedroom.
Beharry said that the men then stripped him of three gold chains, two bangles, a bracelet and a diamond ring, which he estimated to be worth $2.7M; US$2,000; $75,000 in local currency and two mobile phones.
They also relieved the businessman’s tenant of money and jewellery before fleeing.
The businessman alleged that the gunmen were seen entering the yard of a Diamond, East Bank Demerara resident with whom his family has had a prolonged dispute.
He alleged that some hours before the attack, one of the occupants had a heated argument with his wife. According to Beharry, the resident had warned his wife that the Beharry family “would see what would happen before the night is over.”
According to the couple, the dispute started two months ago when two youths, who are related to the residents, stole $54,000 from the Beharry family.
They said that the police were informed about the theft. The matter was settled however, about a month ago, a friend of the youths allegedly broke into one of the Beharry’s properties and stole a quantity of cash and jewellery from one of the businessman’s tenants.
Again, the police were reportedly informed and this matter was also settled after the culprits returned the items, Beharry said.
So far, no one has been arrested in the latest incident and Beharry said that he now fears for his wife’s safety.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009