A 44-year-old woman and her son, 16, are in police custody assisting with investigations in connection with the chopping death of her husband at Experiment, Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice.
Dead is 47-year-old Mohamed Haniff called ‘Raymond’ of Lot 56 Experiment, Bath Settlement.
The case is sending shockwaves through the country as it alleges how greed and money led to a brutal killing.
In police custody is Basmati Gopaul and her son who lived with Haniff.
Police disclosed that just around 21:00 hrs on Friday, the victim and his wife were at home when three masked, unidentifiable men armed with a small hand gun, a metal bar and a cutlass invaded their home.
According to the police, one of the suspects dealt several chops to Haniff’s head while the others demanded cash.
The victims said they told the intruders that they do not have any money and the men left.
Police said the victim was picked up by a neighbour and rushed to the Fort Wellington Hospital and shortly after transferred to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital where he was admitted in a critical condition. He died a few hours later (01:00 hrs) yesterday.
The police’s Major Crimes Unit, which is presently investigating the double murders of the Henry boys, the murder of Haresh Singh and that of Prettipaul Hargobin right in West Berbice, are probing Haniff’s case.
Meanwhile, according to the daughter of the deceased, Bibi Zareefa Haniff who lives next door. “Normally since my brother working at a water place and does come home around 8:30 – 9:00 time, mommy does just push in the back door without bolting it.”
She said that she was alerted that something happened and later told by her mother that three persons entered the house through the back door and placed her to lie flat on the ground in the back hall of the house.
“They had an iron something with them and when she speaking to them, they tell she to ‘shhh’ don’t speak and two of them go in the room where my father was lying down. My mother said she didn’t hear anything, whatever they do in the room,” she disclosed.
The daughter told Kaieteur News that she learnt that the men asked for the money and the jewellery. She stated that her father returned from St. Maarten seven days ago and had returned with a considerable amount of cash (US$8000) and a gold chain among other jewellery and he had hidden the money and jewellery somewhere in the house.
Her mother did not know where. She said that her mother told her that the masked perpetrators asked for the money and the jewellery and her mom told them that she “don’t know where it is” and they turned to her father and asked him as well but “he didn’t say anything so they just hit him.”
According to her, the men escaped after chopping her father. The family was unsure if anything was taken. The mother was not injured during the ordeal.
She said her mother disclosed that her brother arrived home shortly after, “so when he come home, my mother only mek a peep in the room, she see that my father foot and hand moving so she think everything okay but she still was scared because she thought dem boys deh downstairs but when my brother check around everybody gone. When dem go in the room, then dem see daddy get chop up. He get chop on the head and neck, he was still breathing. My husband take something and wrap his head and then take him hospital.”
The daughter said sometime last week, there were strange men lurking around the house.
The father decided to hide the money, which he came home with. Even his wife had no idea where it was hidden.
The daughter denied reports that her mother was in debt and had allegedly pawned the home. The daughter told this publication that it is simply not true.
Her explanation was that the house does not have a Transport and as such, a Transport is needed if her mother pawned the house. She said the Transport for the house was destroyed after the previous building in the same spot burned down.
This newspaper understands that investigators found the bag with the money and jewellery that was reportedly stashed by the businessman. They also took with them the cell phones of Haniff, his wife and his teen son.
The daughter was initially asked how and where the bag was found, but she did not know.
However, she later told reporters that investigators found it under the bed where her father was sleeping.
It was reported in sections of the media that Gopaul had pawned the house and she was being contacted frequently to repay the money. However, no relative could confirm such.
Police sources said that they have not been able to confirm such.
The probe is ongoing.
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