GEORGETOWN –– Pandemonium erupted at a Regent Street commercial bank Tuesday, after a suspected mentally ill man who claimed to be an ISIS member threatened to blow up the bank while demanding $10M. He was quickly apprehended. A search revealed that he had no bomb, and this is the second time he has pulled such a stunt.
The drama began at around 9:30 a.m. when the 35-year-old man, toting a shoulder bag, entered the Regent Street branch of the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry. He then headed to the upper flat, went to a female supervisor, and said:
“I want money, or I will blow up this bank.” According to a police official, the ‘terrorist’ then handed the terrified supervisor a note which read: “ISIS: There is a bomb in this bag. Give us $10M or we will blow up this bank.”
Instead, the supervisor screamed for security, and guards who were nearby grabbed and subdued the ‘terrorist.’
Bomb experts who were summoned searched the suspect’s bag, and found a knife and a few documents.
Police are attempting to have the suspect undergo psychiatric evaluation, since his actions have led them to surmise that he may be mentally unsound. This appears to be the case, since Kaieteur News has confirmed that the Charlotte Street resident pulled a similar stunt almost nine years ago at another commercial bank.
It is alleged that on November 8, 2007, the same man entered the Citizen’s Bank in Camp Street and gave a teller a note in which he demanded $1M, while claiming to have a gun.
Instead, the teller reportedly activated an alarm and security staffers apprehended the “robber”. No gun was found on him. Reports at the time indicated that he had been recently deported from Canada. He appeared in court on November 14, and pleaded not guilty to attempting to commit a felony.
His attorney told the court that the accused is a vendor and had a problem of “mental delusion” and that he is frequently examined by a doctor. He reportedly did not take his medication on the day of the alleged robbery attempt. His counsel also said that the offence was a bailable one and there was no allegation of any weapon being used.
The accused was granted bail in the sum of $150,000 on that occasion.