By Michael Jordan
The slim, East Indian man on the mortuary slab had the words ‘Rebecca’ and ‘Love’ tattooed on his left arm, a cross and ‘Jesus’ printed on his right arm, and someone had used a shotgun to blow away most of his face. He was barefoot, brown-complexioned, about five feet nine inches tall, and he was wearing a black vest and black three-quarter pants.
Two boys had seen the body floating at around 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 19, 2013, at the foreshore near Ruby, East Bank Essequibo. The body had not yet started to decompose, and detectives estimated that the victim had been killed about two days prior to the discovery.
For me, the most interesting thing about this John Doe was that tattoo with the name ‘Rebecca’. You don’t tattoo a woman’s name on your body unless that woman is of some significance to you.
Surely, I thought, she would know who this dead man was, and maybe, even know his killers. I took photographs of the tattoos. I was certain that by the following day, someone — maybe even the mysterious Rebecca —would see the photographs of those tattoos in the Kaieteur News and identify the victim.
Meanwhile, in Drysdale Street, Charlestown, a woman named Chandroutie Sammy was in a state of panic. Her reputed husband had gone missing. His name was Rafeek Mohamed, and Chandroutie Sammy claims that at around 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 17, 2013, her 39-year-old spouse told her that he was “going on the West Coast” to look for a 16-year-old daughter that he had fathered from another relationship. Her name was Rebecca.
She said that Mohamed had tattooed Rebecca’s name on his arm and often spoke about her, though he apparently hadn’t seen her for some time. Sammy and Mohamed also had three small sons.
Mohamed reportedly told Chandroutie Sammy and the sons that he was bringing Rebecca home for the holidays. According to Ms. Sammy, Mohamed had US$100 and some $30,000 in local currency in his possession when he left home. He was also wearing a silver ring and a watch with a green canvas band. She recalled that he “was happy,” and had promised to buy a table set for her.
About half-an-hour after he had left home, Chandroutie contacted Mohamed on his cell phone. He informed her that he was in a bus heading along the West Coast of Demerara. But when she called again, she only received a voicemail, and she failed to reach him for the rest of the day.
Chandroutie became even more worried when Mohamed failed to turn up the following day. What she was really concerned about was whether Mohamed had returned to Rebecca’s mother.
The woman said that she contacted a relative who advised her to report her spouse missing. But on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, Ms. Sammy’s sister told her that a body had been found and that the victim had the name ‘Rebecca’ tattooed on one arm.
She immediately knew that the victim was her reputed husband, and positively identified him at the Ezekiel Funeral Home. No money was found on him and the ring and watch that he was wearing were also missing. His phone was also gone.
But who had killed Rafeek Mohamed?
When a Kaieteur News reporter visited the Charlestown area where the victim had resided, few residents had anything complimentary to say about him. Some alleged that ‘Ravi’ (a name many people knew him as) had lots of enemies and many people wanted him dead. Others described him as “an old crook” who was known to the police for break-and-enter incidents.
But Chandroutie Moonsammy and other relatives angrily insisted that Mohamed was no criminal.
Ms. Sammy said that her spouse sometimes offloaded fishing vessels at the
Meadowbank wharf, and the couple would also “walk and sell” clothing.
“He was not that type of person; he was not a thief…He worked hard to earn a dollar,” she said. But information later obtained suggested that while Mohamed had indeed sold clothing, he also had an unsavory side.
According to this information, Rafeek Mohamed was a member of a gang that was involved in robberies and burglaries, including safe-cracking. It is alleged that this gang would often dispose of their loot at the Meadowbank area. Sources who knew Mohamed suggested that shortly before his demise, the gang had done a job ‘over the river’, and that Mohamed and his accomplices had a falling out over the sharing of their spoils.
That information indicated that the irate gang-members themselves executed Mohamed and dumped his body overboard. Seeking clues to his demise, police and relatives returned to the area where the body was found in the hope of finding the elusive ‘Rebecca’. They failed to locate her.
If you have any information about other unusual cases, please contact Kaieteur News at our Lot 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown location. We can be reached on telephone numbers 225-8458, 225-8465, 225-8491 or 225-8473. You need not disclose your identity.
You can also contact Michael Jordan at his email address: [email protected]
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