Bandits brutalize businesswoman, duct-tape babies in daylight robbery


Two persons including a 16-year-old are being held for questioning in relation to the armed robbery of an East Canje businesswoman.

Shakeela Sankar, 59, who operates a grocery shop at New Street Cumberland, Canje remains in a traumatised state after she and her family were attacked and beaten by cutlass wielding bandits in her home at approximately 13:30 hrs on Monday.

She told the News Room that the “gut-wrenching” ordeal lasted for close to fifteen minutes.

Her grandchildren – ages 4 and 5 – along with her 27-year-old daughter Rozya Somar were also beaten and tied up.

The men gained access via a half-opened door in the bottom flat of the house.

The house where the robbery occurred

In tears and still in pain, Sankar recalled that the men duct taped their mouths and proceeded to beat her and her daughter about their bodies with the cutlass as they demanded valuables and cash.

“They tek the cutlass and start hit [us] on [the] head, everywhere. All over…[I] can’t turn my head. They say they want the money and the jewel so I say I will give them all me get,” a tearful Sankar told the News Room.

She said despite handing over a quantity of jewellery, the bandits were not satisfied as they continued to mercilessly beat them.

Sankar said one of the bandits grabbed one of her grandchildren by his vest and tore it up; the bandits also threw one of the children to the ground injuring his head in the process.

The men carted off with approximately $500,000 in jewellery, $150,000 in electronic gadgets including cellphones and iPads and $60,000 cash.

The businesswoman said the Police arrived promptly and if there was no miscommunication with the location they could have caught the bandits in the act.

She explained her daughter was on the phone with a relative when the bandits pounced, and after realizing something was amiss, the relative contacted the Police.

The bandits escaped through the back door by removing the zinc on the back fence. The mother and daughter were taken to the New Amsterdam Hospital where they were treated and discharged.

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