The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack yesterday instructed the police to immediately hand over the remains of murdered businessman Mohamed Khan to his relatives, who had earlier in the day complained of difficulties in getting his death certificate.
Stabroek News was told that the police would also have to give the family all related documentation.
Crime Chief Leslie James last evening confirmed that a file which pertained to burial arrangements had been sent to the DPP.
Khan, who was popularly known as ‘MFK,’ was brutally murdered sometime between August and September last year before his mutilated body was dumped at Cummings Lodge, East Coast Demerara. DNA samples sent to a lab in Trinidad recently confirmed that the remains were his.
Yesterday, his mother, Khairool Neisha Khan, brother, Shabeer, and other relatives voiced their frustration at not being given a document that was needed to obtain his death certificate. The death certificate, in part, is necessary for Khan’s wife, who resides in Venezuela, to travel here for the burial.
Relatives said too that they wanted to bury Khan’s remains in keeping with Muslim rites and therefore needed to bury him as soon as possible. In the Muslim faith, burial ought to done on the day of death or as soon as possible after.
Shabeer told this newspaper that what upset them the most was being told to visit the police station and on arrival being told that they could not get the document they required. He explained that they were told that the body would be released to them but relatives wanted to collect the death certificate first.
He said once they got the certificate, they would proceed with the burial. “If they had said so in the first place, that ‘a document had to be signed don’t come today,’ we would have understood,” the man stressed.
Another relative said they visited the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters and were then sent to the Sparendaam Police Station, where they were told that they had to return to Police Headquarters to uplift the document they wanted.
The then exhausted relatives decided to visit the DPP’s chambers for help. When they returned to the CID Headquarters, they were told that a file had to be sent to the DPP.
Khan was last heard from on August 21 last year and he was reported missing last October.
He had travelled from his home in Venezuela, where he lived with his wife and their children, to meet his attorney and to look after some business in the interior.
On September 22 last year, the decapitated corpse was found. The head, which was in a plastic bag, was found nearby. The corpse was also missing a leg from the knee down and a foot from the other leg was apparently severed at the ankle. Relatives, even before the DNA tests, had said the corpse was that of Khan.
Weeks before he vanished, Khan was the victim of a failed attempt on his life, relatives said. He had also received death threats and was owed some $80 million, they noted.
When Stabroek News spoke with relatives yesterday, they questioned the position with the police investigation into Khan’s killing.
According to one relative, police are in possession of a statement given by Khan in which he pointed fingers at a city businessman. The relative said the statement should be reviewed and the businessman should be thoroughly questioned.
According to the relative, Khan made the complaint to the police shortly after he was shot. This prompted the implicated businessman to make a counter complaint of harassment and arson. The property at the centre of the dispute–MFK supermarket on Hadfield Street—was sold by Khan to the businessman but there was an outstanding balance, which the businessman was allegedly refusing to pay.
The relative told Stabroek News that it was after the complaint was made against Khan that he was arrested and instructed not to leave the country.
He was required to report to the police station every two days, making it impossible for him to leave the country even if he wanted to.
According to the relative, the police subsequently allowed Khan to leave the country for the Eid celebration, following which he was to return to Guyana. He did as was instructed but disappeared shortly after.
The relative told this newspaper that had the police not put such a restriction on Khan, he may have still been alive today. “After he got shot he would have gone to Venezuela and never returned,” the relative stressed, before urging that Khan’s murder be thoroughly investigated.
James had told this newspaper last week that investigators will be talking to additional persons in a bid to determine the circumstances of his death.