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No arrests in WASA contractor’s murder

Cops believe it was a hit
Published: 
Saturday, February 15, 2014
DMO and Homicide officers view the body WASA contractor Howard Lalloo (inset) in his black Toyota Prado Land Cruiser along Milton Road, Couva, earlier this week. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

It was a murder which rocked the quiet community of Milton Village in Couva, when WASA contractor Howard Lalloo was found slumped in his car with a gunshot to the head. Police investigating the crime had little to work with. Lalloo’s cell phone had been stolen. An employee told investigators he was talking to Lalloo on his cellphone when suddenly the phone went dead.

 

Crime Watch host Ian Alleyne went to Lalloo’s La Romain home and spoke with relatives, who told him that Lalloo was not just a contractor but also a moneylender. Apparently, he had lent someone who was trying to get a government contract the sum of $180,000 and he was to collect just over $200,000 with interest. Lalloo got a call on the evening of Monday, February 10, telling him to meet the man who borrowed the money in Milton Village, Couva, to collect the cash.

 

No alarm bells went off: Lalloo simply told someone he was with at the time that he was going to Milton to collect something. Milton is a tiny village in Couva just off the Rivulet Road, which takes you to the Point Lisas Industrial Estate. It’s a quiet farming community surrounded by old canefields. Relatives admitted to Alleyne that Lalloo was a moneylender, but could not say who he had loaned the money to, nor did he tell them he was going to collect cash.

 

Stricken with grief, his mother screamed when Alleyne arrived at their home, telling him: “Mr Alleyne, they kill meh son. Oh God, meh son gone.” Lalloo’s relatives consoled each other, describing him as hardworking, quiet and simple. Assistant Supt in charge of crime in the Central Division Johnny Abraham told us: “The police have no information on Lalloo being a moneylender.” 

 

He said their investigation was ongoing. But Abraham said he believed Lalloo’s killing “was a hit.” He pointed to “the way the car was parked at the side of the road.” The other clue, he said, is the way Lalloo was killed. He was shot twice in the left side of his head at point-blank range. Investigators believe that there was someone in the passenger seat of the car, and that person may hold the clue as to who killed Lalloo. 

 

 

Abraham would not say whether Lalloo’s cellphone had been recovered, telling us, “I don’t want to compromise the investigation at this stage.” Alleyne has promised to get to the bottom of what he calls “this senseless killing.” He said he has information that a white Toyota was parked alongside Lalloo’s on the day he was killed on the lonely Milton road. He is asking anyone from the Milton area or anyone with information to come forward and assist in solving the crime.

 

 

Worry over missing student
Grief-stricken mother Vicki Bhaganwandass-Jaggan came to the Crime Watch studio on February 11 hoping that host Ian Alleyne could help her find her 18-year-old daughter Nicole Jaggan, who had gone missing the day before. Nicole, a student at Omatie’s Cosmetology School in San Fernando, left her Suchit Trace, Penal home on Monday morning, but has not been seen or heard from since.

 

Her mother was overcome and had great difficulty speaking as she related to Alleyne that she was very protective of her children and went to great pains to ensure their safety. Her daughter, she said, had only recently started travelling on her own. 

 

 

In tears, Mrs Bhagwandass-Jaggan told Alleyne that she would normally wait with her daughter at the junction of Suchit Road  and see her get into a taxi before returning to their nearby home. However, she said on the morning of February 10 she was not feeling well and walked with her to the junction but did not wait with her. Mrs Bhagwandass-Jaggan said it was a daily routine for her to call her children between 2 and 3 pm to ensure that they were okay. She said she made several calls to Nicole’s cellphone but got no response. 

 

She and her husband went through Nicole’s Facebook account and contacted a male friend, but he told them he did not know where Nicole was. They eventually went to his home and with the permission of his mother searched the friend’s house but Nicole was not there. Nothing was missing from Nicole’s room. Her parents made a report to the Penal Police Station and by week’s end the Anti-Kidnapping Squad got involved in the search. But up to yesterday Nicole’s parents confirmed they had heard nothing positive. 

 

Nicole was last seen wearing a red jacket, blue jeans and slippers and was carrying a white floral handbag. Alleyne said from his investigation a taxi driver recalls dropping Nicole off in San Fernando, but he was unable to say more. Flyers with Nicole’s picture and numbers to call have been posted in San Fernando and Penal. Meanwhile, Alleyne is appealing with anyone with information on Nicole’s whereabouts to call 770-7731, 473-3947 or his cell, 290-4426.