Bandits attack car importer office, escape with $15M cash
Bandits, in a raid, Monday, attacked the head office of a car importer in Kingston, escaping with millions of dollars in local and foreign currency. Staffers of the Yokohama Trading were left traumatized during the 10 minute ordeal in which the security guard was gun-butted. Yokohama, a prominent Suriname-based car importer that set up operations here several months ago, had only recently opened a stockyard on the Rupert Craig Highway, East Coast Demerara, signlling intentions to expand operations here. According to police sources as well as staffers, the Barrack Street headquarters had only opened for business for a few minutes when the bandits struck on Monday. A security guard had left his post to get a cup of coffee in the outside office located in the lobby area when he felt a sharp pain at the back of his head. He had been using the water cooler. As he slipped to the floor, he saw a gun man hovering over him threateningly. Another staffer, who acts as a cashier, was reportedly attending to her duties when she heard the commotion. Suspecting something was amiss, she ran into the inner office to inform other staffers. They came back hurriedly and saw a man with a gun pointed at the head of her colleague, a Customer Service representative. He demanded she open the door leading to the cashier area. The two bandits, who were not masked, appeared to know what they were doing. They locked the entire office and it appeared as if a third person was outside on the lookout. They demanded cash and led one of the staff members to a safe. The cash, said to be almost $15M in local and foreign currencies, was dumped in a bag and the staffers were ordered to lie on the ground.
The bandits, said to be in their 20s, quickly exited the Barrack Street building into a waiting car, said to be a Toyota NZE sedan. The escape was reportedly captured on surveillance cameras. Kaieteur News was told that the bandits may have cased the office last weekend as two men were seen acting suspiciously in the office. One had been seen peering into the cashier cage and around the customer services area. He had wanted a quotation on a vehicle but later changed his mind after receiving a call. The police were called in and were said to be investigating the matter.