Bada Bing robbers remain free until sentence is irrevocable

POSTED: 01/5/12 1:11 PM

Court hands down sentences of 36 and 30 months.

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced Jimmey Dave Ramsahai to 36 months imprisonment, and Ramona Sonia Lupu to 30 months for their role in robbing nightclub Bada Bing of more than $16, 000 on March 7 of last year. Ten months of Lupu’s sentence are conditional; the court imposed 3 years of probation on the 32-year-old Romanian who worked as a bookkeeper for the nightclub at the time of the robbery.

The court considers Ramsahai and Lupu the organizers of the robbery. The man who actually threatened Bada Bing’s security guard and robbed him of a bag containing $16, 757, Kenny Douglas, escapes punishment for the time being. He was handed over to the immigration department some time before the first court hearing in July and deported to his native Dominica.

But Douglas played a crucial role in the sentencing of his partners in crime. Before his deportation, he made statements to investigators that implicated Ramsahai and Lupu in the robbery. The court considered his statements credible, because they are supported by statements from witnesses, text messages, data found in the phones of the defendants and a print list containing a record of phone conversations between the defendants.

The court rejected Ramsahai’s alibi – a claim that he had been at work at the time of the robbery – because there is too much evidence to the contrary.

Bada Bing owner Jaap van den Heuvel filed a claim for damages totaling $22, 197. The court granted the plaintiff $18, 347 as compensation for the money the robbers took and for his legal costs. The court declared the other claims – amongst others expenses for hiring another accountant – inadmissible. The defendants are each liable for half of the damages.

The robbery occurred after the weekend of the Heineken Regatta. When Lupu took the company’s weekend proceeds to the bank on Monday around noon together with a security guard, they were attacked by a man while the car slowed down between two speed bumps near the club. Lupu reportedly alerted the robbers about her departure with her Blackberry. The security guard recognized the robber, who had his face covered with a white tee shirt, as the cook of Pineapple Pete’s – Kenny Douglas.

The guard told the bookkeeper to drive off, but Lupu told the court she had been unable to do this because the robber was brandishing a gun while he was reaching across her towards the passenger seat and the bag of money. Ramsahai was identified as the driver of the getaway car.

The defendants are currently not detained and have fourteen days to appeal the verdict. Once it becomes irrevocable, they will be summoned to serve their sentence.

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