Found guilty, jailed

Andre Vieira

–for $28M Craig armed robbery

A 26-year-old man was on Wednesday sentenced to 56 months imprisonment by Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman for the $28M armed robbery of a Chinese national at Craig, East Bank Demerara.

After a few months on trial, Andre Vieira, of Meadow Bank, also on the East Bank, was found guilty of the May 20, 2017 armed robbery of Dai Zhung.
During the commission of the crime, Vieira allegedly robbed Zhung of a minibus valued $2.3M; a quantity of fish glue valued $25M; three cell-phones and $500,000 in cash, all totaling $28.8M.

Initially, Vieira was jointly charged with Winston McKenzie, 35, of New Scheme, Eccles, East Bank Demerara and Feyaud Hamid, of Meadow Bank, for the same offence.
However, during Wednesday’s hearing, the two other defendants had the matter dismissed against them due to lack of evidence.

However, the evidence against Vieira was stronger, due to an oral statement he had given to the police. When arrested, Vieira had allegedly confessed to the cops, and explained that he was the ‘lookout man’ during the robbery.

Vieira, who was unrepresented, never challenged the oral statement as it was presented to him in court by police prosecutor, Shawn Gonsalves.
Magistrate Latchman, in her ruling, said that after reviewing the evidence in its entirety and considering that the robbery was well organized and violence was used, she had no alternative but to throw the book at Vieira.

In response, Vieira, hands outstretched, pleaded with the magistrate:
“I can’t do all the time! I didn’t do nothing!”
Even family members, who were in court, tried pleading with the Magistrate.
“My brother don’t thief; he innocent,” one of his siblings told the court.
Nevertheless, the Magistrate demanded order in her court as she maintained her decision.