Customers Locked in Building For More Than Two Hours
GUYANA — Six managers of the New Building Society (NBS) along with the bank’s security guards, were taken into custody by the Police Tuesday evening.
This follows a lockdown by managers of the bank earlier in the day to prevent Marshals of the high court from entering the facility to levy assets to cover a $59 million High Court judgement for its former Chief Executive Officer, Maurice Arjoon.
A number of customers were locked inside the building during the standoff which lasted for more than two hours. Marshals of the High Court along with the police and Arjoon’s attorneys were locked out of the bank.
The six managers and a security guard were arrested for alleged unlawful imprisonment of several persons.
After the standoff ended just before 4pm, NBS wrote a $59 million check to cover the judgement.
NBS was holding out that the Court should not ordered the levy of assets because the judgement had been appealed, according to reports.
Legal minds however have said the bank made the wrong move and followed the wrong advice by locking down the headquarters with persons inside.
The managers and security guards who were arrested were taken to the Brickdam Police Station to be further questioned and possibly charged.
Arjoon’s wrongful dismissal case had been ongoing for years before judgement was recently granted. The NBS is now appealing that judgement.
Attorney Sanjeev Datanin, who is representing the interests of the former CEO, was reported as telling News Source that he was surprised by the move by the NBS to lock out and lock in officers of the Court and even law enforcement.
He said the by being in the banking business, the NBS should be well aware of how court levies work and it should have been obeying the order of the Court.
But the Attorney for the NBS, Pauline Chase, said the levy ought not to have been taking place since the matter has been appealed.
While she could not say who at the NBS gave the order to shut the doors, leaving staff and customers detained, she maintained that the matter should have awaited the appeal, as is usual courtesy, News Source reported.
Even when Police Senior Superintendent and 2nd in Command for A’ Division, Wendell Blanhum arrived on the scene, the NBS did not budge. He said he wanted good sense to prevail, but he warned the Attorney for the NBS that the bank was breaking the law by its actions, including detaining the customers against their will.