Tue | Jun 6, 2023

Businessman travelling with millions killed

Published:Saturday | January 14, 2023 | 1:11 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter

Robbery appears to be the motive in the murder of a businessman in St Mary on Thursday after the police recovered more than $7 million from the scene.

The victim’s family, however, has raised concerns about a shortage in the actual sum that should have been in the elderly man’s possession.

Dead is 72-year-old Dellevale Banbury, a businessman of Iteboreale, Annotto Bay, in the parish.

Banbury became the second murder victim in the parish since the start of the year.

Reports are that he was shot and killed by unknown assailants while driving along Chovey main road at about 6 p.m.

The motor vehicle he was driving veered off the roadway and into a gully.

Superintendent Bobbette Morgan-Simpson, commander of the St Mary Police Division, told The Gleaner that the attack appears to have been a robbery attempt.

“That’s as a result of the fact that he was carrying a large amount of cash on him at the time… Over $7 million was recovered from the scene by the police and the family is indicating that he should have been in possession of over $8 million. However, that was what was recovered by the police,” Morgan-Simpson said.

According to the senior cop, when the police arrived at the scene the mangled vehicle was in a precipice.

“The funds were counted at the police station and that was what was recovered, over $7 million … I don’t know about short (shortage of funds), I am just saying this is what the police recovered but the family is saying it should have been over eight,” said SP Morgan-Simpson, adding that persons were on the ground when the police got there.

The divisional commander said she could not speak to what happened before the police got to the scene.

The Gleaner understands that motorists contacted the police and informed them that while driving along they witnessed occupants of a Toyota Probox motorcar firing shots at another vehicle.

The Annotto Bay Fire Department was also summoned and the body of a man with multiple gunshot wounds, which was later identified as Banbury, was removed from the vehicle.

Morgan-Simpson reiterated the call for persons travelling with large sums of money to take greater care of their personal safety and security.

“I am going to use the opportunity to appeal to persons who are business persons who have to deal with a lot of cash. It is really not in their best interest to be travelling around with so much cash,” she said.

“Use a more secure means. We have security companies that provide these services and also if it’s case where they need the assistance of the police, the police have a private service or they can ask us for assistance. Whilst we are short on resources, there is the availability of off-duty personnel or a private service that can be utilised,” said Morgan-Simpson, describing the businessman’s murder as unfortunate.

The parish recorded a 67 per cent increase in murders year-on-year.

There were 45 murders in 2022 when compared to 27 in 2021.

The division recorded declines year-on-year in other major crimes such as injured persons, rape, robberies and break-ins.