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Credible information from an informant was the spark which made police investigating the kidnapping of central businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman divert their attention to the 12 men on trial for her murder. This was revealed in the testimony of the State’s latest witness in the high-profile murder trial, Supt Radcliffe Boxhill, who began his evidence before presiding Judge Malcolm Holdip in the Port-of-Spain High Court yesterday.
Boxhill, a homicide detective who was attached to the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) when the Xtra Foods chief executive was abducted in front of her Chaguanas home on December 19, 2006, said yesterday that days after the kidnapping he met the informant outside the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain. He said after receiving the information he and a large contingent of police and soldiers raided the homes of some of the accused men at Upper La Puerta Avenue, Diego Martin.
He said when he first arrived, he told one of the accused, Shervon Peters, he had information that Peters was able to assist in the investigation into Naipaul-Coolman’s abduction.
Boxhill said after Peters denied any knowledge of the kidnapping, he asked Peters to lead him to the home of another one of the accused men, Earl Trimmingham, who lived a short distance away. He said while Trimmingham denied any wrongdoing, he pointed out an area known as the spring which he said was being used as a camp by Peters and some of the other accused.
Boxhill revealed when they went there, they found a structure under a silk cotton tree made out of wood and metal, in which crime scene investigators found cigarette butts, a latex glove and a black ski mask. His testimony and yesterday’s hearing were cut short at this point as an attorney objected on a legal issue which the judge had to deal with immediately.
Boxhill was one of three witnesses who testified yesterday, as the court also heard the brief evidence of homicide detective WPC Germaline Mitchell-Gosine, who made notes of the evidence recovered in Peters’ house, where prosecutors claim Naipaul-Coolman was kept captive before being killed. The trial is expected to continue this morning with Boxhill’s cross-examination.