Stolen Army AK-47 part of arsenal recovered
By Dale Andrews and Melissa Johnson
An early morning shootout just after 06:00 hours yesterday on the Cromarty Foreshore, Corentyne has left a detective constable and three heavily armed bandits dead.
Dead is 25-year-old Detective Constable 18682 Oslen Trevis Glasgow, of Fyrish, who was stationed at the Whim Police Station.
Constable Glasgow was shot in the abdomen when a bullet fired from one of the bandits’ AK-47 rifles pierced his bullet proof vest.
One of the dead bandits has been positively identified as James Gibson, a former GDF officer who was charged jointly with Oliver Hinckson for possession of illegal firearms and ammunition.
Gibson was earlier charged with the unlawful possession of a firearm believed stolen from a policeman. He was placed on bail, and was the source of protest organised by his mother when the authorities refused to release him from custody although the courts had ordered his release.
Another bandit was positively identified by army operatives as Cliff Chichester, who is also a former cadet officer and is no stranger to law enforcement officers.
He was believed to have been involved in the Rose Hall bank robberies two years ago.
A fisherman, Hector Boodhoo, 57, of Rose Hall Town, Corentyne, was the other person killed, a victim of the gunmen.
His body was found tied to a tree at the Port Mourant Foreshore at about 05:50 hours yesterday, with several chops to the head.
Police in a press release said that they recovered two AK-47 rifles, one 12 gauge pump-action shotgun, seven AK-47 magazines, 178 rounds of 7.62 x 39 ammunition, fourteen 12-gauge cartridges, 28 rounds of .30 ammunition, 17 rounds of .40 ammunition, six rounds of .45 ammunition and 1 round of 9mm. ammunition.
One of the AK-47 rifles has been identified as being from among those stolen from the GDF in 2006.
Police also recovered an open packet of Bristol cigarettes, a wristwatch, a toothbrush, a phone and battery charger, a bottle of roll-on deodorant, a bottle of machine oil, a spanner, a CRF multi-purpose oil, one bottle of Skin-so-Soft cream, a haversack, two pouches, articles of clothing, a quantity of what is suspected to be cannabis sativa, a used bag of whole wheat tennis rolls from Humphrey’s Bakery, a belt, ski-mask and other paraphernalia.
It was confirmed that the gunmen were responsible for the hijacking of two boats in the Atlantic Ocean three days ago.
The men had stolen the engines from two fishing crews, leaving four fishermen to drift ashore.
One of the boats was recovered by the GDF at Mahaicony on Thursday.
The fishermen subsequently identified the dead bandits as the men who had attacked them.
The drama continued yesterday at around 04:00 hours when the men attacked a fishing boat belonging to 51-year-old Bishan Motilall at the Rose Hall Foreshore, Corentyne.
Motilall had just returned from sea, and was mooring his fishing boat when the men appeared from among the bushes and held him up. They then took away his boat and engine and escaped.
Motilall told police that the men ordered him to remove his seine from the boat, since from all indications they were only interested in a boat and engine.
The police believe that the men were planning a major heist in the Corentyne area and were in the process of securing getaway transportation.
According to information received by this newspaper, Motilall had seen the bandits attacking Boodhoo. That was the last time Motilall saw Boodhoo alive.
Police believe that the men had held Boodhoo hostage since the previous day.
According to the police press release, their ranks in Berbice received a call at about 06:00 hours yesterday, informing them about a suspicious boat on the Cromarty/Wellington Park Foreshore. Three men, suspected to be pirates, were seen paddling the vessel.
Ranks, including Detective Constable Oslen Glasgow, responded immediately.
The team moved through the Cromarty backlands, and on reaching the foreshore area, they came under fire from the bandits. Constable Glasgow was mortally wounded in that initial confrontation.
The remaining ranks secured the area and summoned back-up. The subsequent exchange of gunfire led to the demise of the bandits.
The bandits’ bodies were taken to the New Amsterdam Hospital and were later transported to the mortuary.
Constable Glasgow succumbed at the institution while receiving medical treatment. According to police reports, the vessel in which the bandits were seen was later identified as that of Bishram Motilall.
Investigators believe that, after taking the boat from Motilall, the bandits encountered engine problems and were forced to return to the foreshore, where they were met by the police.
Nanmoonie Raghubeer, a resident of Cromarty, was at the scene of the incident.
He opined that the suspected pirates had nowhere to hide, so they opened fire at the police.
He claimed that one of the men jumped into a trench by the savannah and that he heard a lot of gun shots during the ordeal.
According to Mr. Raghubeer, the men came out from the Cromarty seaside, and it was a resident who made a telephone call to the police.
“The police come very fast, because if they didn’t come fast, they wouldn’t catch them men.”
Residents in that area recalled seeing the bandits running down a dam with police ranks hot on their heels in pursuit.
According to one woman from Cromarty, the police ranks cut off the escape route for the bandits by forming a cordon starting from the seashore and stretching to the backlands.
“So them men couldn’t escape.”
A resident of Wellington Park on the Corentyne, who preferred to remain anonymous, said he got a call from a friend informing him that three men with guns were at the seashore.
At Rose Hall Town, 52-year- old Celena Boodhoo had already gotten the news of her husband Hector Boodhoo’s death when this newspaper visited.
Relatives and friends had gathered and were making the necessary arrangements for a vigil on Friday night.
Dr. Veerasammy Ramayya was also at the home, and he related that his cousin, Hector Boodhoo, left to mourn his 25-year-old daughter Geeta and 27-year-old son Sammy.
According to Dr. Ramayya, the family received a telephone call informing them that Boodhoo was dead and that the body was at the Rose Hall Town foreshore.
“They said three persons had guns since yesterday (Thursday) on the Rose Hall beach and they took him (Boodhoo). His relatives went searching for him since Thursday from morning, 7’o clock.”
He related that Boodhoo had left his home in the company of his brother to pin seine at the Rose Hall seashore.
He said that Boodhoo remained at the seaside while his brother left.
After he failed to return home Thursday night, the family became concerned, since it was not a norm for Boodhoo to stay out late.
The relatives formed a search party and, on Friday at about 06:00 hours, they found his nude body in the vicinity of the Port Mourant Channel, a short distance from the Rose Hall foreshore.
The body was hidden in a clump of crab grass, tied to a tree with a rope passing around the neck.
His hands were bound behind his back. There also appeared to be a wound to the back of the head, which suggested that he was struck with an object.
His relatives later found his bicycle and a bag he carried along with his trousers on the Rose Hall beach.
Also on Thursday the three bandits had tied up three other fishermen in the Rose Hall Foreshore area, among them Jaidatt Dipoo.
The men managed to free themselves after the bandits had left the location.
It was Jaidatt Dipoo of Hampshire, a 27-year-old fisherman, who managed to slacken what was used to tie him up, and he untied the others.
At his home in Hampshire, Jaidatt Dipoo related that the three bandits had hijacked somebody’s boat and it (vessel) broke down right at Rose Hall foreshore.
Dipoo and his fellow fishermen did not know that the bandits were hiding in the bushes. So when they saw the strange vessel, they moved towards it walking in single file along the dam.
Dipoo identified his colleagues as ‘Sunna Boy,’ who is the boss, ‘Car’ and ‘Wretch Head’.
The bandits grabbed his friend ‘Wretch Head’ and used him as bait.
“They put a gun to he head and tell he to call we. He seh, ‘Come, leh me show y’all something,’ and when we go they hold we up,” Dipoo said.
He added, “Them (bandits) give we a pack of tennis rolls and two packs cigarettes. They seh if we run they would kill we.”
He had the feeling that the men were only bluffing. “According to how them talking, I didn’t think them woulda kill we.”
He recalled that the men were armed with three long guns and were not masked.
He also heard the gunmen saying to someone, “Ole Boy, come sit down here on the box.” It is believed that the men were talking to Boodhoo.
He claimed that after the bandits had left the scene, and he had freed himself, he ran through the Babu John area in Port Mourant and related what had happened.
On his way, he saw the relatives of Hector Boodhoo searching for the missing man.
Dipoo’s wife, Philomena, said that she constantly warned her husband about the dangers of his fishing job but he never paid her any mind.
She said that when he returned home on Thursday and related to her what had taken place, she did not believe him because she thought that he was trying to escape from household chores. Eventually she knew he was telling the truth.
At Fyrish Road, Doreen Glasgow, the mother of the dead policeman, appeared to be very composed as she went around preparing for the wake.
She said that she got a telephone call at about 07:45 hours yesterday when a police rank asked her if Glasgow has a wife.
“He asked me if me know Glasgow get shot, and me ask the person what me gwine do? He tell me to go down to the New Amsterdam Hospital Mortuary and identify the body.”
She noted that her son had left home for work on Thursday. He had also gone to church that night.
She described him as an easygoing person. Oslen Glasgow was the fourth of six children, and was the father of three-year-old Javis Akon Glasgow.
She said that the Commander of Division ‘B’ of the Guyana Police Force visited her home after the incident, but she had already left for the hospital.
She recalled that she later met him (the Commander) and he explained to her that her son, Oslen Glasgow, who joined the Guyana Police Force six years ago, was shot during a shootout with pirates.
“At the mortuary I see he lying down. He get a hole in he abdomen on the right side. He had on a blue vest.”
Divisional Commander Khrishna Lakeraj, while lamenting the death of one of his ranks, praised the police for what he described as a brave and professional job.
He told this newspaper that he was struck by the composure displayed by the dead cop’s mother.
According to Lakeraj, Glasgow’s mother indicated that she was aware of the risk that her son faced in the execution of his duty.
Although she will certainly grieve for her son, her pain will be cushioned by the fact that his colleagues were able to avenge his death.
Police believe that the three dead bandits are remnants of the Buxton/Agricola gang.
Saturday, November 29, 2008