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PC in custody over Freeport murder but acting top cop mum on probe

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams said the Police Service is deliberately withholding information on its investigation into the kidnapping and suspected murder of Freeport courier Devindra Siewdass to ensure possible suspects do not become aware of the probe. In a telephone interview yesterday, Williams said the only information he could release was that an investigation was being pursued. 



He said: “What I can tell you is that this is a live investigation so nobody will tell you whether we are looking for another officer or we are looking for a suspect in the South because it is most improper to share. “Anybody who shares that with you will be acting improperly. As the head of the organisation, I definitely cannot be the one to be acting most improperly. 


“What I can surely tell you is that there is a live investigation, which is headed under the guidance of the ACP of Homicide Wayne Dick and the broad direction of the Deputy Commissioner of Crime, DCP Glen Hackett.” He added that the Anti Kidnapping Unit and CID were also involved in the inquiry. Up to yesterday, a police constable, who is the son of a Central Division police inspector, remained in custody over Siewdass’ disappearance. 


The 26-year-old constable, who has five years’ service, was held by the AKU on Saturday. A few hours later, charred skeletal remains, which investigators believe are those of Siewdass, were discovered among a pile of tyres off Martiste Road, Hindustan. Police sources said on Monday that another constable attached to the Central Division was also wanted for questioning. On Sunday, three men and three women were held at a house at Martiste Road as police searched for clues and found a quantity of marijuana. 


However, as the Criminal Investigative Unit, Southern Homicide and AKU searched the area, they found the burnt remains 350 feet behind the house. A few houses away, a cutlass, a bloodstained mattress and a pair of sunglasses were found and taken for forensic testing. Sources at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, said they were unable to match the dental records to the remains as the jawbone had disintegrated in the fire. 


Crime scene investigators could only retrieve a few pieces of bone. The source said DNA testing would be done at the Forensic Science Centre, which would likely be available in a month, while DNA specimens would also be sent to the former Special Anti-crime Unit (SAUTT) lab in Cumuto for analysis but the chances of obtaining DNA from the bones were slim. Siewdass, the son of Anirudh Siewdass, the owner of Rudy’s Variety Store, Adam’s Bazaar, Chaguanas, worked as a courier at DHL Services at Piarco Airport. 


He was last seen alive on March 20 when he left home in his black Mitsubishi Libero station wagon. Around 9 pm, when his father called him, someone else answered his phone and said if he wanted to see his son alive again, he must pay a ransom of $2 million. On Friday, the AKU, CIU and Freeport police found Siewdass’ car abandoned at Forres Park. Southern Homicide is continuing investigations.


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