Miner and dredge owner Marlon Softleigh, 34, also known as Marlon Waddell, was chopped to death in Carico, in the North West District of Guyana, nearly a month ago.
Following his death, there are questions about the ownership of Softleigh’s dredge and other mining equipment.
On the one hand, Softleigh’s common-law wife of four years, Luzia Dos Santos, with the support of Softleigh’s friend David Bidder, has accused Softleigh’s brother, Mario Softleigh, of refusing to hand over the dredge equipment to her.
According to Bidders, upon hearing of Marlon Softleigh’s death, Mario Softleigh contacted Santos and forged an agreement with her that would see her get one million dollars in return for his continued working on the dredge.
But this story has been denied by Softleigh’s maternal aunt, Rochelle Christie, who explained to Kaieteur News that all of the documents concerning the dredge and mining equipment used in Softleigh’s operation have been legally transferred into Mario Softleigh’s name. Christie produced the relevant documents to verify this.
According to her, Marlon’s next of kin is his mother, Paulette Softleigh, who now lives in Venezuela. Marlon Softleigh’s next of kin would be his children, but they are underage; and due to this, his next of kin is his mother.
Paulette Softleigh displayed no apparent interest in the mining apparatus, or of returning to Guyana permanently, Christie said. In light of this, Mario Softleigh made efforts to have the equipment transferred from his mother’s name to his name.
The documents were legally transferred into Mario Softleigh’s name on June 13, 2008. Notwithstanding this, family members of Bidders said, they were not aware of any documents from Paulette Softleigh. They highlighted the fact that Paulette Softleigh had not seen Marlon Softleigh in approximately 14 years.
They continued that they were unaware that the equipment was to be transferred to Mario Softleigh; if they had known that the documents were to be transferred, they said, they would have never given the documents to Mario Softleigh.
Christie said that Santos and Marlon Softleigh had broken up some time before, and for this reason Santos had returned to Venezuela. However, the family of Bidders denied this claim.
Christie has also said that Bidders and Marlon Softleigh are not related, as Bidders claimed they were. “They were just very close friends, but were not related,” explained Christie.
Christie said that Marlon and Mario Softleigh had been doing mining work together for some time, contrary to reports given by Bidders that Mario Softleigh had joined his brother Marlon some two weeks before his (Marlon) demise. A man has been charged with Marlon Softleigh’s murder.
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