The four men, who are accused of robbing a businessman of several containers of fuel and a quantity of raw gold, have been released on bail. They had been on remand for almost a month.
Those charged are Baldeo Francis, 37, a gold miner of Skull Mountain, Arakaka; Ramesh Singh, 45, a driver of Port Kaituma; Kurt Nedd, 27, a Police Constable and Leron Campbell, 26, a gold miner, also of Port Kaituma.
When the matter was called in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, the defendants’ lawyers renewed bail applications. The prosecution made no objections, but however, asked that conditions be attached.
Hence, Singh, Nedd and Campbell were released on $300,000 bail each while Francis was granted $400,000 bail.
Conditions of the bail are that the defendants lodge their passports with the clerk of court and stay 50 feet away from the victim. They were also instructed to report to the Arakaka Police Station until the hearing and determination of the trial.
The men are expected to make their next court appearance on February 4, 2020, when they will appear in the Matthews Ridge Magistrate’s Courts.
It is alleged that the quartet on November 11, 2019, at Matthews Ridge, North West District, being in the company of each other and armed with guns, robbed Jose DeCosta of $95,000 cash and a quantity of raw gold valued at $18M, property of Deonarine Sookram, a businessman.
The men were not required to plead to the indictable charge after it was read to them.
It was further alleged that on the said date, at Skull Mountain, Arakaka, North West District, Francis had in his possession one .223 rifle and two 9mm pistols when he was not the owner of a firearm license enforced at the time.
The last charge stated that on the same day and at the same location, Francis had in his possession 120 rounds of ammunition when he was not the owner of a firearm license enforced at the time. He denied both charges after they were read to him.
Facts presented by police prosecutor Seon Blackman stated that the victim is the owner of a gold mining company.
The prosecutor told that court that on the day in question, the victim and his workers were at the Matthews Ridge Airstrip awaiting a plane to travel to Georgetown.
However, while waiting, the defendants, who were armed with Ak47 guns, attacked them and took away the raw gold and cash. They then made good their escape.
The matter was quickly reported and police acting on information stopped Francis’s vehicle. A search was then conducted in the vehicle and the raw gold was found in a container. He was then arrested. Based on the information he provided to the police, the other men were later arrested.
Prosecutor Blackman had objected to the men being granted bail on the robbery charge citing the serious nature and penalty of the offence. The prosecutor had also highlighted the price of the raw gold.