More than a month after city businessman Farouk Kalamadeen was found beheaded the police have made no progress in the probe but one senior police officer says it is patently clear that the method of killing was the trademark of organized criminals.
While the police continue to follow different lines of inquiry, none has borne fruit following the discovery of the body on Cowan Street on the morning of Wednesday April 30, nearly a month after he disappeared.
The police had arrested and questioned many persons, before and after the man’s decapitated body was found but have never come up with enough evidence to press charges against anyone.
But according to the high ranking official who declined to be named the lines of inquiry in ascertaining exactly the motive for the killing remain open.
The official said whether Kalamadeen’s slaying was drug-related remains unanswered but it is not being ruled out. Days after the businessman went missing police had been investigating along the lines of a possible kidnapping for ransom.
Whether there was a link to organized crime is still being investigated. “Clearly how it happened, they are the people who have the capacity and have a history of conducting these kinds of operations,” the source asserted.
Even as leads dry up and there’s no credible evidence linking anyone, the officer said expectations are still very much alive that someone may come forward with some information. “Some investigations take time. Some have taken as much as 15 years until someone comes forward with information. So the case is still very much open,” the official said.
Coming to grips with the death and the lead-up to the gruesome discoveries of first the decapitated body and then the head three days after is still very difficult for Kalamadeen’s relatives who have maintained that all the information they had they passed to the police.
They also continue to insist that no ransom was demanded, neither was any ransom paid. Speaking with this newspaper on Friday, family spokesperson and Kalamadeen’s sister-in-law Bibi Shadick stood her ground that no ransom was ever demanded nor paid.
However she revealed that during the man’s disappearance police had told relatives of a scenario in which a man had appeared at a city police station and had told them that he knew where Kalamadeen was being held and a $5M ransom was being demanded. Admitting that she could not recount the situation clearly, Shadick said she believed that either the man who made the report or another whose name he called was one of the persons arrested and questioned about the businessman’s disappearance.
“But I am not sure what happened here, but no ransom calls were ever made to us. But money has paper trails and if any money was paid it must be traceable and investigations could prove any such thing,” she said.
Asked about the family’s optimism over the perpetrators of the killing being brought to justice she responded, “I would like for there to be a breakthrough in the case but then when I look around and see all that’s happening in this country I don’t know how optimistic we should get.”
Farouk Kalamadeen disappeared on April 2 while jogging on the Houston, East Bank Public Road, not far from his home. Relatives had reported not hearing from him during the time of his abduction neither had they received any ransom calls.
On Wednesday April 30 just after 6:00 am the body of a headless man was found in Cowan Street, Kingston and from its very appearance Kalamadeen’s son Irfaan identified it as that of his father’s. The head appeared to have been clinically removed.
This sent relatives as well as the police on a furious search for the man’s head. They searched the nearby trench but the search was fruitless. The head may have been disposed off at the same time the man’s body was placed in Kingston since on the morning when it was discovered in the North Road canal residents recounted that they had seen the strange object days before but had ignored it.
Police had said that a post-mortem examination showed that Kalamadeen may have died from possible decapitation. A pathologist’s examination of the partly decomposed head later revealed that he had suffered blunt trauma to the back of the head and injuries to the mouth.
Eyewitnesses reportedly told police that Kalamadeen was picked up by men in a dark-coloured vehicle. The relatives of the 54-year-old former motor racer and the security forces had conducted numerous checks in and around the Houston neighbourhood, but other than apprehending a few suspects they had collected no substantial evidence.
During several interviews with this newspaper, the businessman’s relatives had expressed optimism about his safe return. His wife Nariman has denied reports that her husband had been abducted by foreigners with whom he had problems.
Stabroek News was told that Kalamadeen, apart from operating his automobile service centre, was also involved in gold mining. Back in 2002 at the height of the crime wave gunmen believed to have been the prison escapees had attempted to rob a house in Section ‘K’ Campbellville. Kalamadeen had told this newspaper that he responded to the attack. At the time, he was residing in the area.