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Businessman kills murder suspect

Friday, January 31, 2014

A 28-year-old man who, police said, was being sought in connection with the murder of a 14-year-old Caroni schoolboy almost two years ago was shot dead by a Chaguanas businessman during a botched robbery yesterday. Around 11 am, the businessman went to a bank branch at Valpark Shopping Plaza, Valsayn, where he withdrew $70,000, which he put in two bags, then drove to his home at Endeavour, Chaguanas. Police said when the man parked his car and got out he was confronted by three gunmen who tried to grab the bags of cash. The businessman drew his gun and shot at the robbers, hitting one several times in his chest. The robber’s two accomplices dropped one of the bags, which held $20,000, ran to a getaway car and escaped. The shot robber, Damien Simon, 28, died on the scene. Central Division Police arrived within minutes and an all-points bulletin was issued for the arrest of two other suspects. No one had been held up to late yesterday. 


Investigators said Simon, who has two addresses—one in Beetham Gardens and the other in Kelly Village, Caroni—was well known to them. He was the main suspect in the murder of fellow Kelly Village resident, Akesh Sooklal, who was murdered in front of his Mary Ellen Street, Kelly Village, home on July 22, 2012.  Sooklal, a student of Cunupia Secondary School, was shot in the head by robbers who tried to steal his uncle’s customised Nissan Wingroad. Police believe Simon and his accomplices were part of a gang that targets business-owners making large deposits and withdrawals at banks. Investigators said they were working on a theory that the gang was contacted by corrupt staff members of financial institutions who tipped them off about potential victims. Senior Supt Johnny Abraham and Sgt Jitindra Toolaram  are continuing investigations.