Ex-prisoner, fingered in Berbice River robbery, beaten to death by residents


An ex-prisoner, accused of being part of a gang of five men who robbed and beat a Kimbia, Upper Berbice River (Region 10) family on Friday last, was caught by residents, tied up and beaten to death.

Dead is Kwame Bhagwandin, 39, of Lot 227 Angoys Avenue, New Amsterdam, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).

At around 23:00hrs on March 18, five masked men barged into the premises of the Gladstone’s; they ransacked the house, assaulted the victims and stole approximately $500,000 in cash from the boat captain, an undisclosed amount of cash from his brother along with jewellery.

Four days later, there has been no official report from the Guyana Police Force on either the robbery or the vigilante killing.

Bhagwandin’s mother 61-year-old Donna Liddell called “Susy” told the News Room that she was informed of her son’s death on Saturday last; she last saw her son on March 16 and was aware that he was heading into the Berbice River with a friend.

The ransacked house of the Gladstone’s

According to the distraught mother, someone showed her a photo of her son tied up, covered in blood and asked her if she recognised him.

Liddell was then informed that her son was accused of being a part of a gang that invaded the house of 25-year-old boat captain Rayon Gladstone and his wife of Kimbia.

She said based on the information provided to her, her son was identified as a stranger in the village, was apprehended by villagers, tied up and beaten.

Liddell said she took the picture of her son to the Central Police Station in New Amsterdam and asked if they’re aware of the incident but she was told by a female rank that nothing of the sort occurred.

The woman went home and but shortly after, she received a telephone call stating that her son’s body would be transported to the New Amsterdam Stelling but by the time she arrived there, his body was already whisked away to the Arokium Funeral Parlor.

When she arrived there at approximately 19:30 hrs on Saturday, she was not allowed to see the body. She decided to return home and wait until the police contacted her.

On Monday, the police arrived at her house and two CID ranks asked her to accompany them.

“I said no problem, they took me up till to Skeldon and they did a post mortem and then we came down back and went to the station and they asked me some questions about Kwame and so but at that time the police still did not tell me what happened.”

Liddell disclosed that both her son and the friend who accompanied him to the Berbice River were recently arrested for an armed robbery committed in New Amsterdam.

They were, however, released but she noted that her son has an ongoing matter before the court for robbery under arms committed some two years ago.

Bhagwandin has faced a series of charges for armed robbery in the Berbice courts and is well-known to the police.

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