Tuesday 16th December, 2008


Mayor’s warning: Stay out of Chaguanas

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Chaguanas Mayor Surujrattan Rambachan at his office at Cumberbatch Street yesterday. Photo: Adrian Boodan


Chaguanas Mayor Surujrattan Rambachan is telling the public to stay out of his borough during this, the busiest shopping season of the year, because of the heightened incidence of criminal activity.

In an interview yesterday, Rambachan said he was constantly being bombarded by burgesses who complain of being victims of crimes while shopping along the busy main road.

Rambachan accused street vendors of working in collusion with criminal gangs and music pirates to commit robberies in broad daylight.

He said he recently discovered a music pirate’s operation being run by a suspended policeman.

The mayor said a 60-year-old woman came to his office shortly before noon yesterday to complain she was robbed at knife-point by a gang of men as she was leaving a supermarket.

He said a music pirate was observed turning up the volume of his music to cover the woman’s screams for help and added that last Saturday several women were jostled and robbed while shopping.

He said women seemed to be the easiest targets. “I am very disturbed and I continue to be very disturbed about the policing on the main road during this Christmas season.

“Last Saturday there was a chaotic situation, where I understand that four women were robbed, people were jostled, people were injured and we had a situation where guards (of a bank) were threatened,” he said.

Rambachan added, “Whether they choose to say so publicly or not, I am saying so.” He said they were threatened when the vendors were removed from the streets and moved into the bank’s compound from where they were also removed at which time they threatened the security guards.

“I have been trying to talk to the Chaguanas police about this situation, but it seems to me that this thing is not been treated with the urgency or the aggression that it needs to be treated with,” said the mayor.

He said six businessmen on the main road have also told him they have been threatened by vendors.

Rambachan said, “As mayor of this town I really cannot subscribe to what is happening on the streets and I am asking the acting Police Commissioner to intervene in this matter.”

Rambachan said he also wanted the police to look into some untoward activity taking place at an NP Quick Shoppe in Chaguanas.

He said a gang of motorists park their vehicles on the compound of the gas station and play “extremely loud music and create a nuisance for residents on weekends.”

Rambachan claimed that the gang consumed alcohol, harass residents and rob people who visit a nearby ATM. “The police go there and they talk to the guys and then the police disappear,” the mayor said.