Remains of T&T businessman kidnapped in 2008 believed found

(Trinidad Express) The remains of businessman Naail Ali were found in a shallow grave off Orange Grove Road South, Tacarigua, yesterday, police believe.

Ali was kidnapped three years and six months ago by three gunmen.

The remains which are believed to be Ali’s were discovered yesterday by police, who never gave up the search for him.

The breakthrough in the case came after police received credible information from a kidnap accused, which indicated Ali was buried near a vegetable garden.

Ali’s family could finally have closure in the matter, once an examination of the remains is completed today at the Forensic Science Centre in St James to confirm the identity.

A contingent of police officers from the Region II Homicide Bureau of Investigations and the Anti-Kidnapping Squad (AKS) made the discovery around 3.30 p.m.

Police had started their searches around 9 a.m. in the area yesterday.

In October, homicide officers were attacked by a swarm of killer bees after they went in search of Ali’s body in the same area but using a route off Trantrail Road, St Augustine.

Yesterday, they used a different route, and with the assistance of the operator of a mini-excavator, crime scene investigators assigned to the Homicide Bureau exhumed the alleged remains of Ali.

The remains, police said, were found in a waterlogged area, approximately nine feet deep. Officers also found items of clothing believed to belong to Ali.

The skull, they said, had hair on it which belongs to that of an East Indian male. Tests are expected to be performed on the teeth to determine the exact identity.

Since he was kidnapped in June 2008, AKS and other officers had mounted multiple searches throughout the country, with the hope of bringing him back to his family alive.

Ali, 26, was abducted from outside the family’s businessplace, A&S Furniture and Appliance Store, on Parforce Road, Gasparillo.

Three gunmen snatched him as he exited his vehicle, and then they sped off in a white Toyota station wagon. A ransom demand was made and an undisclosed portion was paid, but Ali was never set free.

Police have shot and killed three men linked to the abduction but never found Ali, who was presumed dead.

Four days after he was kidnapped, police said they had made a breakthrough in the case when they shot and killed the alleged mastermind behind the kidnapping—26-year-old Rawle Charles—at a hideout in the Tabaquite forest.

He was shot multiple times when, police said, he tried to shoot his way out of a house they had surrounded while they were searching for Ali.

In January 2009, another suspect in the kidnapping, Brian Pierre, was killed by police in the Tabaquite forest.

Several months later, a third suspect, 46-year-old Jimmy Cherry, a deportee from the United States, was found dead.

His body was found on the roadside of the Caroni Old Road, Hermitage, south of San Fernando.

A fourth suspect, who police had initially believed was in hiding after his accomplices were killed one by one, officers said they have received information that the suspect was killed and his body buried at an undisclosed location.

Since he was taken, the Ali family has had to endure continuous suffering and anguish and have continued to pray, hoping one day, he’d walk back into his home.

However, this expectation will never become a reality after the remains found yesterday are believed to be that of Ali.

Police said they were certain the remains belonged to Ali since the information was provided by someone linked to the abduction.

District Medical Officer Dr Ravi Kawal accompanied police at the scene and examined the remains.

Among the officers involved in the exercise yesterday were Acting Insp Nicholas Thomas, Acting Sgt Tankook, Cpls Roberts, Wayne Mohammed and PC Sunil Ramoutar.

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