Witness in India testifies in CNB robbery trial

Bank security guard gives evidence via video link

A former security at Cayman National Bank gave evidence via video link from Goa, India, at the Cayman National Bank robbery trial on Wednesday. 

Sebastian Stanley Gomez’s evidence was translated by an interpreter in the courtroom in Cayman. The interpreter translated attorneys’ questions into Konkani, Mr. Gomez’s native language, and then the answers into English.  

Four defendants – Rennie Cole, David Tamasa, George Mignott and Andre Burton – are accused of robbing the Buckingham Square branch of Cayman National Bank on June 28, 2012. 

Questioned by Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards, Mr. Gomez gave his account of what happened at the bank that morning.  

Mr. Gomez was positioned at the main door, he said. Around 9:40 a.m., he opened the door for a woman who was leaving the bank and another customer came in at that time. The woman was called back into the bank and at that time another customer who came inside told Mr. Gomez he forgot his ID. Mr. Gomez said he told the man to go to a teller for assistance. The man pushed himself close to Mr. Gomez, forcing him to back up. 

Mr. Gomez said he did not realize there was another person right behind the customer because the person who entered first blocked his view. The second person showed a gun and told him to lie on the floor. The second person’s face was covered; he wore a long T-shirt with some yellow on it. He was “fat, but not very fat,” Mr. Gomez told the court, adding that the gun he held was small. 

Mr. Gomez said the first customer and the woman who had returned to the bank also lay down on the floor. He was on the ground for three or four minutes, he said. He had a radio and heard the other security guard on duty make a call. Then he heard the man with the gun say, “Police have already received information. Quit it.” 

As soon as they heard the message, “the same two guys” ran. He also saw a third person running. 

The person who had blocked his view was fat, tall and dark-skinned, Mr. Gomez said. He wore a blue T-shirt and blue pants. 

No defendants were named during Mr. Gomez’s evidence. The only defense attorney to ask questions was Laurence Aiolfi, who represents Cole.  

Mr. Aiolfi suggested that Mr. Gomez’s memory of what happened that day was poor. The witness replied that he remembered the incident. 

The attorney asked about specific details and explained that “we have CCTV [referring to closed circuit television] so the jury are going to know ….” 

Mr. Gomez maintained that he remembered clearly when the male customer was talking to him and blocking his view. 

The case resumes Thursday morning. 

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  1. So here was a guy from India working in the Cayman Islands and he can’t speak English – the language of the Cayman Islands? How did he get the job? Did he have an interpreter when he was interviewed for the job? How did he interact with the customers? Did he speak to the Cayman Islands customers too in Konkani? Since when does CNB hire people who can’t speak English?

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