Convicted casino robber gets five years
Wayne Griffith, one of the men accused of stealing almost $9 million during an attack at the Ramada Princess Hotel casino in April last year, was yesterday sentenced to 60 months in jail after being found guilty of the crime. While Griffith was found guilty and sentenced, his co-accused, Andrew Blackman, was acquitted at the conclusion of their trial, which was conducted by Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman. It is alleged that Griffith and Blackman, while being in the company of others and armed with guns, robbed cashiers of $8,951,000, which was the property of the Princess Casino, on April 29th, 2017, at Providence, East Bank Demerara. A third man, Junior Stewart, who had been charged with the crime, was freed on November 16th after the court found that there was insufficient evidence against him.
Wednesday, November 28th Swan mother critical after chopping, attacker hangs self
A mother of seven was left critical in a city hospital last night after she was severely chopped by her partner, who subsequently took his own life following an argument over infidelity at Swan Village, SoesdykeLinden Highway. The attack during which Melicia Andrews, 31, was chopped about her body occurred around 3.30 pm. Andrews was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where she was undergoing surgery last night. Her assailant, Ian English, 38, a labourer with whom she reportedly shared an abusive relationship for several years, hanged himself after the attack. He was discovered hanging from a tree a short distance away from where he carried out the attack. The cutlass he used to chop Andrews was recovered next to his body.
Republic Bank taking over Scotia Caribbean operations
Scotiabank yesterday stunningly announced the sale of its Caribbean branches to the Trinidad parent of Republic Bank triggering regulatory concerns from Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda and raising fears among hundreds of workers about their jobs. Canada-headquartered Bank of Nova Scotia and Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) made separate announcements yesterday morning. Within hours, Guyana’s Ministry of Finance was expressing concern about the announcement and warning that any such acquisition would have to comply with the Financial Institutions Act (FIA) and receive the blessings of the Bank of Guyana. RFHL in a release from its Portof-Spain headquarters said that it had entered a pact to acquire Scotiabank’s banking operations in Guyana, St. Maarten and the Eastern Caribbean territories, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The purchase price, it said, is US$123 million, which represents US$25 million consideration for total shareholding of Scotiabank Anguilla Limited; and a premium of US$98 million over the net asset value for operations in the remaining eight countries. It said that the price does not include any amounts required to capitalise the branches post-closing.
Firemen accused of looting Fly Jamaica plane on $100,000 bail
Four firemen accused of pilfering items from the site of Fly Jamaica’s recent crash landing, were yesterday taken before the Georgetown Magistrates’ court to answer to charges of theft. The first charge read yesterday alleged that Aubrey Frank, 30, of Kuru Kururu, Linden-Soesdyke Highway; Jamie Kingston, 30, of D’Urban Street, Lodge and Roiden Kennedy, 27, of Timehri, on November 9, at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri had under their control articles reasonably suspected to have been stolen. They all denied the allegation. A fourth fireman, Collis Williams, 37, of Coverden, East Bank Demerara, faced a separate charge, which alleged that he, on November 9, at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, stole from Fly Jamaica Airlines flight 256, one iPhone 5, valued USD $350, equivalent to GYD $70,000 and a Samsung Galaxy S4 cellphone, valued at USD $380, equivalent to GYD $76,000; property of Basil Ferguson.
Irfaan Ali on 19 fraud charges over Pradoville Two
Nineteen charges of conspiracy to defraud by common law, were yesterday instituted against former PPP/C Minister of Housing, Mohammed Irfaan Ali by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), after nearly two years of investigations. The charges, which detail offences alleged to have occurred between the period of September, 2010 to March 30, 2015, are in connection with the Pradoville 2 Housing Scheme on the East Coast of Demerara, and involve housing allocations to six Cabinet members—then president Bharrat Jagdeo, Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon and ministers Priya Manickchand, Dr Jennifer Westford, Robert Persaud and Clement Rohee—along with other persons with connections to the government. The basis of the charges is that the lands were sold far below their value. It is unclear if any action is contemplated against the recipients of the land. Ali, 38, of Lot 30 Sea Spray, Leonora, was brought into the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan in the company of SOCU officials, and placed in the prisoners’ dock, where he awaited the reading of the charges.
Man gets 18 years for rape of girl, 15
Dhanraj Persaud was yesterday morning sentenced to 18 years behind bars for the rape of a girl who he said he did not know was below the age of consent as he said she had told him she was 17 years old. Justice Jo-Ann Barlow, however, made it clear to the 38-year-old convict that the offence was statute-specific and stressed that it was immaterial whether he did or did not know that the child was under age 16. The complainant was in fact 15 years old when Persaud sexually penetrated her on October 23rd, 2013—an act he does not deny, but held strongly, even at the point of sentencing to what he considered a defence since he did not know her true age. In a stern reprimand, Justice Barlow told the expressionless Persaud who was unanimously convicted by a jury earlier this month that a strong message of deterrence needed to be sent to not only him, but potential offenders that it matters not what they genuinely believe the victim’s age
Critical: Melicia Andrews
Dead: Ian English