5 remain in custody

first_imgCorriverton heistAs Police continue their investigations into last week’s high-profile robbery of a Corriverton cambio dealer, five suspects remain in custody.Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum told Guyana Times that the investigation was still ongoing. He disclosed that although one of the suspects was identified during an identification parade on Thursday, the Police were not ready to place him before the court.The brazen robbery was executed last Monday by a gang of 15 heavily armed men at the Number 79 Village, Corentyne home of cambio dealer Devendra Churaman aka “Katak”. The AK-47 rifle and shotgun wielding men carted off $20 million in cash and $1 million in jewellery.The cambio dealer positively identified one of the suspects from a line-up on Thursday.B Division (Berbice) Commander Errol Watts disclosed that the individual was a resident of Sand Hills, Berbice River. He also revealed that during Churaman’s statement to the Police early on in the investigation, he indicated that during the confrontation with five of the men in his bedroom, the mask of one of the bandits fell off, and he saw the perpetrator’s face. Meanwhile, a source close to the investigation has confirmed that the man identified was the brother of Milton VanLuen.The 28-year-old VanLuen of Sand Hills along the Berbice River is alleged to have had in his possession one Taurus pistol on November 15, at Mount Sinai without being the holder of a firearm licence. He is also accused of having in his possession 10 live .38 rounds of ammunition.VanLuen was arrested shortly after Police shot and killed a bandit at Mount Sinai after he attempted to shoot at the Police.Meanwhile, this publication understands that another of the five men was allegedly part of the former “Popcorn”’ gang.The notorious “Popcorn” gang between 2010 and 2014 robbed families along the Corentyne until its leader Deodat “Popcorn” Seecharran was killed during a shootout with Police in East Canje in April 2014. Timothy Sampson was part of that gang and has been convicted of several robberies and unlawful escape from prison. In September 2010, Sampson was charged for being in possession of two AK-47 assault rifles, one UZI submachine gun and one double-barrel shotgun without being the holder of a firearm licence.The charges were subsequently dismissed after the Police personnel, who allegedly found Sampson with the illegal weapons, failed to appear in court to present the evidence.Another man who is also assisting the Police was recently remanded on a charge of being in possession of a firearm and ammunition, without having a licence along with other gun-related charges. On November 23, Raymond LaFleur, 40, of Lot 28 South Mount Sinai, West Canje, appeared before Magistrate Alex Moore and pleaded not guilty to a charge of illegal firearm possession among others.Meanwhile, the Crime Chief told this publication that the Police were still awaiting results from the lab of gunpowder residue tests carried out on the hands of the suspects.The investigation continues.last_img read more