Cop, businessman among four charged with gold heist at airstrip

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A serving member of the Guyana Police Force, a businessman and two others were remanded to prison Tuesday by City Magistrate Faith McGusty for the offence of armed robbery.

Constable Kurt Nedd, 27 of Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara; businessman Baldeo Francis, 37 of Arakaka, North West District, his employee Ramesh Singh, 45 of Four Miles, Port Kaituma and Leron Campbell, 26, a miner of Port Kaituma were charged jointly for armed robbery.

It is alleged that the gang on November 4, 2019, at Matthews Ridge, while being armed with guns robbed Hozier DeCosta of $95,000 cash and a quantity of raw gold valued $18M, the property of Deonarine Sukram.

The four men were not required to plead to the indictable charge.

Francis was charged separately for having a 1.223 rifle along with two 9MM pistols in his possession on November 11, 2019, at Skull Mountain, NWD; he is not a licensed firearm holder.

It is further alleged that on the same date in question, Francis had 120 rounds of 5.56×45mm of ammunition along with 21 9MM ammunition in his possession.

Attorney Jerome Khan during an application for bail told the court that his client operated a goods and services business and employed Singh as a driver.

Khan told the court that the gold found by the Police belongs to his client while some are still unaccounted for which he suspected was stolen by the Police.

The lawyer contended that his client had asked Singh to run an errand and during the journey, he transported Nedd.

Meanwhile, Nedd was represented by Attorney-at-law George Thomas while Campbell was represented by Thompson. Singh was unrepresented.

The court heard that on the day in question, DeCosta was at Matthews Ridge Airstrip awaiting transportation for his gold to Georgetown when the defendants attacked him and ordered him to lie face down.

They relieved him of his gold and cash and escaped. Police received intelligence and intercepted a vehicle with Francis.

A search of the vehicle unearthed the gold inside three gasoline bottles. Police said that Francis took ranks to his house where he handed over the firearm used during the robbery.

Police Prosecutor Ceon Blackman objected to bail and the men were remanded until November 23, 2019.

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