Bel Air businessman murdered, wife, infant daughter terrorized
-killers posed as Customs Officers
A 45-year-old businessman was bound and murdered in his Bel Air Village, East Coast Demerara home at around 20:00 hrs yesterday by three men whom he let into the property after they claimed to be Customs Officers.
The victim, Frank Persaud, of Lot One Area ‘L’ Bel Air, was slain in a bond beneath his house after the bogus Customs Officers, who had lured him there under the pretext of checking on goods that he had stored on the property. The robbers also tied up the victim’s wife, Nalisha Mohamed and the couple’s two-year-old daughter.
Police disclosed that while the home was ransacked, only a laptop computer and $100,000 appeared to be missing. Several tins of corned beef were also missing from the bond.
A source said that the victim bore no visible marks of violence and investigators surmised that he may have been strangled.
Kaieteur News understands that the same men, who had identified themselves as Guyana Revenue Authority staffers, had visited the home on Monday. A grief-stricken Nalisha Mohamed said that one of the men had a GRA badge and wore a shirt and tie, while the other two had shirt-jacs. They also had cameras and reportedly took out photographs.
Ms. Mohamed said that she had just finished bathing the couple’s daughter when the men arrived.
The woman said that she was suspicious that the men had arrived at that hour, but her husband said that “if you don’t open they would say that you have uncustomed goods.”
Police sources said that when the men returned yesterday evening, they informed Persaud that the GRA officials were not satisfied with their report and wanted to see the businessman’s ‘duty slips’ and also take photographs of the goods that he had imported.
Persaud than accompanied the men to the bond, where they tied him up.
The bogus Customs Officers then told Ms. Mohamed, who was in the top flat, that her husband wanted to see her. When she entered the bottom flat with her two-year-old daughter, the men then pounced on her. The woman told Kaieteur News that after the child began to cry one of the men, who was unarmed, threatened to kill her daughter and she pleaded with them to allow her to breastfeed the child.
The men reportedly then tied up the woman and child with strips of cloth and the proceeded to ransack the top flat. The woman told Kaieteur News that she eventually managed to free herself and then made contact with a female relative who lives nearby. It was only after the relative and others came that they discovered her husband’s motionless body in the bond. He was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
However, a police source said that a neighbor had observed that the front gate was wide open and on venturing over to the property, found the businessman’s lifeless body in the bond and his wife in an unconscious state nearby.
They were taken to the GPHC where staff revived her.