The body of car dealer Rajendra Singh was found yesterday morning in Le Repentir Cemetery with his hands tied and a gunshot wound to the head, four days after he was kidnapped by gunmen from his Foulis, Enmore, East Coast Demerara business place.
From all indications, the businessman might have been tortured before being shot execution style as his body appeared battered when he was found about 9.30 am. Stabroek News was told that besides a gunshot wound to the left ear, a section of his face appeared badly disfigured.
Police said in a media release that “during this morning, Wednesday April 9, 2014, the body of Rajendra Singh, of Hope West, Enmore, ECD, was found in …Le Repentir Cemetery, Georgetown, with suspected bullet wounds to his head and with his hands tied.”
Stabroek News was reliably informed that it was a City Council worker who stumbled on the body in the section of the burial ground which is close to the old dump site. The police were subsequently informed.
Relatives later turned up and made a positive identification. The body was taken to the Lyken’s Funeral Home but shortly after its arrival it was taken away for a post-mortem examination to be done. This newspaper was unable to ascertain the results of the autopsy.
When Singh was found his pants were missing as he was clad only in his underwear and a t-shirt. There was also a piece of cloth tied around his neck.
Persons in the area did not recall hearing any usual sounds and it is being suggested that Singh was killed elsewhere and his body dumped in the cemetery. Given the state of the body—this newspaper was told that “it was fresh”—death may have occurred only hours before the body was discovered.
Relatives on the scene declined to speak to members of the media and subsequent visits to the man’s home and business were met with padlocked gates and locked doors and windows. At Hope West, where Singh lived, neighbours said that they hadn’t seen the family members “for a while” and that they had moved to building at Foulis where the business is located.
Investigators in `A’ Division and `C’ Division will now have the uphill task of solving this case. Initially ranks were checking phone records and gathering evidence from the man’s motorcar which was found abandoned at Goedverwagting Railway Embankment, ECD, sometime after Singh was snatched. It is unclear how much success the ranks are having in closing in on the kidnappers.
Shortly after the kidnapping occurred, the man’s wife was contacted and a $50 million ransom demand was made. It was later reduced to $25 million.
Stabroek News understands that Tuesday midday was given as the deadline for the ransom to be paid. Up until the time that Singh’s body was discovered, reports said, the ransom had not been paid.
Based on reports received by this newspaper the kidnappers had gone with the intension of snatching the man’s 13-year-old son. However, the child was not there and Singh was taken.
Sources say that there are a few things in this case which just don’t add up as it would appear that the kidnappers would have killed Singh whether the ransom was paid or not.
According to police sources, they have no leads but are working around the clock to solve this case.
Residents of Enmore have expressed shock at the incident saying that there were no signs that something like this would have happened.
Friends of the family had told the media on Sunday that Singh and his wife were closing their business when two men jumped out of a bus and walked into the business establishment posing as customers.
They eventually brandished weapons and proceeded to assault Singh and his wife.
The men then reportedly took the day’s earnings, demanded the keys to one of the couple’s vehicles, put Singh in the trunk, and drove off with him. One family friend said that the man’s wife rushed for another vehicle and tried to follow her husband’s captors, but did not locate them.
Police gave a different version of events, stating that investigations indicated that Singh was in his motor vehicle PFF 982 in front of his business place when his wife observed two men entering the vehicle which then drove off.