September 1, 2014

Foulis businessman found murdered in cemetery

Dead businessman, Rajendra "Sunil" Singh

Dead businessman, Rajendra “Sunil” Singh

– hands bound, throat slit

By Bhisham Mohamed

Foulis, East Coast Demerara (ECD) auto spares dealer Rajendra “Sunil” Singh, who was kidnapped on Saturday evening was on Wednesday morning found with his throat slit and a bullet wound to his head in the Le Repentir Cemetery. The discovery was made around 10:15h.

Forty-year-old Singh, of Lot 15 Foulis, Enmore, was discovered with his hands tied behind his back with a piece of rope. A white cloth was also tied around his neck. Investigators confirmed that the man was strangled before his throat was slit and more so, they believed that he was tortured.    Singh’s body bore several marks of violence, which indicated that he was severely beaten.

Investigators at the crime scene minutes after the businessman’s body was discovered

Investigators at the crime scene minutes after the businessman’s body was discovered

The businessman was clad in a pair of black socks, a pair of short blue pants, and a blue t-shirt, with fresh bloodstains around his body. He was tied to an abbey tree.

As the news spread about the discovery, several top-ranking police officers turned up at the scene to confirm that it was indeed the kidnapped businessman who had been killed. After several failed attempts by ranks of A Division to verify his identity, ranks from C Division were called in.

The businessman was positively identified by a tattoo on one of his arms by a close relative, who is also a police rank. A cousin of the dead man subsequently turned up at the scene, but there were no signs of the businessman’s immediate family.

Undertakers removing Singh’s body from the scene on Wednesday

Undertakers removing Singh’s body from the scene on Wednesday

The area was cordoned off, as crime scene officials conducted their investigations. Several pieces of evidence were collected and were taken for further analysis. His body was taken to the Lyken Funeral Home to await a post-mortem examination.

Guyana Times understands that the man’s body was discovered by a Mayor and City Council worker Jagnarine Parboo, who was at the time looking for a water source. He told media operatives that as he was looking around the area, he saw the man lying face down clad in a pair of short pants and a jersey.

He added that he got scared and went to his boss’s office where he reported the incident. His boss, in turn, contacted the police who accompanied the man back to the scene. The man posited that he did not see much, since the police would have taken control of the area.

This publication further learnt that the man might have been killed in the wee hours of Wednesday since his body was still warm and the blood on his body was quite fresh.

This newspaper understands that the kidnappers would have contacted the family on Tuesday morning, requesting that the $25 million ransom be dropped off at a certain location.  The kidnappers reportedly contacted the family a while later and gave an ultimatum of 12:00 noon on Tuesday to deliver the money – a deadline the family did not meet.

Police ranks at the scene said the kidnappers initially wanted to kidnap the businessman’s 13-year-old son, but, instead, they captured him. Since the kidnapping, the man’s wife and son have not been seen in public.

Minutes after the kidnapping, the family was contacted and a ransom of $50 million was demanded for the businessman’s safe return. On Monday, the kidnappers had phoned the businessman’s wife, requesting $25 million instead after the initial amount could not be raised.

They also demanded that the family hand over the surveillance footage of the incident. In a release, police stated that they are investigating the incident.

Investigations revealed that Singh was in his motor car in front of his business place when his wife saw two men entering the vehicle, and drove off with him in it.

The businessman’s car, vehicle PFF 982 was found by members of the Cummings Lodge Community Policing Group along the Goedverwagting Railway Embankment, ECD.

Meanwhile, acting Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud on Monday told media operatives that the matter is a sensitive one and the police will not divulge any information, since it can put the businessman’s life and those of his family at risk.

Persaud stated that while the Police Force is cognisant that the media has a role to play in disseminating information to the public, the man’s life is at risk and any unwarranted information may trigger a reaction from the kidnappers.

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