A 53-year old Bangladeshi was rushed to the Belau National Hospital after he was allegedly assaulted by four Palauan men on early morning of August 22 at the Etpison Museum.
The victim who was identified as Sahidul Islam, a 53-year-old Bangladeshi, is a security guard at the Etpison Museum and was reportedly on duty when the incident happened. He was brought unconscious to the hospital due to serious head injuries he sustained from the incident.
The document obtained from the Office of the Clerk of Court stated that the four Palauan men identified as Ryley Ngiraremiang, James Baulechong, Delmel Remeliik and Foncy Sambal were drinking alcohol when they decided to search for “Bangladeshi individuals to assault and rob”. This statement was based on the account of one of the accused, Riley Ngiraremiang.
The accused, who are now facing charges for robbery in the first degree and assault in the first degree, had first allegedly assaulted a different Bangladeshi male outside Lurs Store in Topside and stole the victim’s wallet before proceeding to look for other victims. That was when they eventually saw Islam and also allegedly assaulted and robbed the victim, according to defendant Ngiraremiang.
Ngiraremiang stated that he saw the victim attempting to stand after he fell down due to the alleged attack so it prompted him to go back and kick him until he lay unconscious despite victim’s pleas for him to stop.
Remeliik, also one of the defendants, admitted to the investigating officer that he participated in assaulting and robbing Islam but emphasized that he was only the getaway driver.
Accused Foncy Sambal also admitted his involvement in attacking the victim, according to the court document. He had been allegedly in hiding for around two weeks after he was released following his initial arrest after the incident. The release followed after the 24-hour rule that allows the police to hold a person in the absence of formal charges had expired before the court was able to issue a warrant of arrest.
As Sambal continued to allegedly hide from authorities, the local police sought public assistance to get information about his whereabouts and this soon led to his arrest by an agent from the Narcotics Enforcement Agency on September 6. Public Safety Director Aloysius Alonz, in an interview with Island Times, said that Sambal was found hiding in the house of his relative in Koror.
Meanwhile, James Baulechong also admitted that he was with the other accused during the incident but he denied any direct involvement in the case as he said that he knew the victim. Baulechong further added that he watched the other accused beat the victim.
Meanwhile at the hospital
Palash Islam, the 32-year-old son of the victim, told Island Times in an interview on September 10, that they were told by the doctor that it might take a long time for his father, Sahidul, to recover from the injuries.
Palash said that his father sustained a serious head injury from the incident and had been lying unconscious on the hospital bed for days. It was only about a few days ago when his father was able to gain consciousness but he said that he is still barely able to speak.
Sahidul’s hospitalization is covered by his health insurance, according to Palash, but the rest of the expenses they needed to shoulder.
Palash said that his father is a good man and that he has no enemy, adding that this is the first time his father had encountered this incident while working in Palau for 22 years now.
The accused, according to Palash, allegedly took his father’s valuables during the incident which he identified as a brand new Samsung Galaxy phone and a wallet containing cash.
Palash said that this is a difficult time for him and his family as they greatly rely on what little they are earning here for their family’s basic needs back in Bangladesh. But with his father’s hospitalization, his salary will now go to the other expenses needed to sustain his father’s hospitalization.
Palash said that he has two kids back home whom he needed to support. Sometimes, his father’s company would also bring food for his father – this, somehow, help them cut their expenses. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)