Suspected mastermind behind Beryllium attacks nabbed — police

THE police say they have in custody the person who they believe orchestrated the recent attacks on courier company Beryllium Limited security teams, pulling off multimillion-dollar heists.

That person, who was arrested last Thursday, is one of four suspects who have been arrested in connection with three of the four recent incidents now under investigation, which occurred between February and April this year.

Deputy commissioner of police in charge of crime and security Fitz Bailey told the Jamaica Observer on Monday that all four persons in custody are believed to have been involved in the first incident which occurred on February 27 at Portmore Pines Plaza where gunmen murdered one member of the Beryllium team and injured two others. The team was about to service automated teller machines (ATMs) at the JN Bank. The criminals made off with $10 million in cash in that incident.

He said that in relation to the second incident on March 19, when four Beryllium team members were shot and injured in an attack in Braeton Parkway, Portmore, St Catherine, one person has been charged, and one person was taken into custody on reasonable suspicion. That time, criminals made off with more than $23 million.

The police had previously reported that Shemar Yee from Spanish Town in St Catherine had been charged in that incident, and six other people were taken into custody in relation to the robbery.

Bailey said those six individuals have since been questioned and released.

He said that in relation to the third incident, which happened on April 29 at a petrol station in Albion, St Thomas, in which one security officer was injured, one person is in custody. No money was stolen during that attack.

“That person is also suspected to be involved in the first two incidents. This person, we believe, might be the mastermind for all four incidents,” he said.

Earlier that month, criminals attempted to rob a Beryllium vehicle in Balaclava, St Elizabeth. No one was injured in the incident and no money was stolen.

When pressed to provide further details on the suspected mastermind, Bailey declined but assured that “the police are committed to ensuring that everyone who is involved in these incidents are brought to book, and we are using all available resources to ensure that that objective is achieved”.

“We are appealing to the public who have any information to say what you know by contacting the police at the National Intelligence Bureau tip line at 811; Crime Stop at 811; and the police emergency line at 119,” he said.

Bailey also noted that several operations were conducted by the police and two rifles and two handguns have been seized so far.