By Momodou Jawo
A gang of armed robbers broke into Reliance Financial Services offices and other shops in Kuntaur, Wassu, terrorising and took away cash and other valuables, police sources confirmed yesterday.
According to eyewitnesses, the armed robbers first attacked the Reliance offices where made away with D466,000 from a safe before proceeding to the Wassu branch of Yonna Forex Bureau and a shop belonging to Mauritanian businessma Saloum Hydara.
From Hydara’s shop, they took D55,000 and CFA250, 000, along with 35 packets of cigarette and two crates of soft drinks. However, they did not take any money from the Yonna forex bureau branch as they could not locate any.
A Kuntaur resident said the robbers fired shots in the air before embanking on their looting spree.
Meanwhile, traces of the robbers’ loot including an empty suitcase believed to have contained the looted money. were found in nearby Ngunda village.
Police spokesman ASP Foday Conta said his office was aware of the heist and that the robbers are believed to have come from Senegal.
He disclosed that their investigations have revealed that the robbers scared the watchman at the Reliance office by firing in the air and in the process petrifying the villagers. The GPF spokesperson added that the robbers then later moved to Yonna Forex Bureau and vandalised all the computers at the bureau searching cluelessly for money before going ahead to rob the Hydara’s shop.
PRO Conta said the police contacted the military post at Laminkoto but the robbers escaped in a white Toyota pick-up vehicle before the reinforcement of soldiers arrived at the scene..
The soldiers, he said, pursued the robbers but could not find the elusive armed bandits and only managed to recover the empty suitcase. “As we speak now, the matter is under investigation,” Conta said.