The uncle of alleged hitman Linden ‘Bullet’ Lewis who is accused of murdering Ruby businessman Habiboodean in 2008 is being sought by the police even as five persons including the suspected killer remain in custody.
The uncle reportedly hired his nephew Lewis to carry out the murder. Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum told Stabroek News yesterday that investigators are hoping to wrap up investigations into the matter soon so that the case file can be dispatched to the police’s legal advisor and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice. Blanhum also revealed that the suspects have been cooperating with the police.
Up to last evening, Lewis’ uncle was not located. Lewis, 28, of Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo (EBE) was one of five persons arrested for questioning in relation to the recent murders of Good Hope rice farmers, Mohamed and Jamilla Munir.
While the other suspects were released, Lewis remains in custody and was grilled by investigators in relation to the murder of Habiboodean. Police have said that he has confessed that he was the hit-man and has since implicated five others whom he described as plotters.
Blanhum had previously said that four of the five individuals who were implicated by Lewis were arrested between Monday evening and yesterday. These include the daughter of the businessman, Bibi Nazeela Habiboodean, who turned herself into the police on Tuesday afternoon in the company of her lawyer.
Habiboodean, 76, of Lot 111 Ruby, EBE, died at the Woodlands Hospital on February 15, 2008, one day after he was badly beaten at his home. A relative had told this newspaper at the time that nothing was taken from the home and neither was it ransacked and the incident occurred reportedly because of a family feud.
Bibi Nazeela Habiboodean, 42, and Terry Lewton, 38, of Vergenoegen, EBE had been charged with the murder.
It had been alleged that Lewton murdered Habiboodean, while Bibi Nazeela counselled, procured and commanded him to commit the said offence. Less than a year later, they were freed after Magistrate Fazil Azeez had ruled that a prima facie case had not been made out against them.
Stabroek News was reliably informed that after his arrest, Lewis gave investigators a statement during which he explained that a close relative of Habiboodean had promised him $6 million, a house, land and a car if he killed the businessman. The suspect reportedly said that on the day of the fatal attack, he was given access to the businessman’s house by the relative. He told police that as he entered the house, Habiboodean, who was sitting on a chair, asked him what he was doing there and he responded, “I come to kill you.”
The suspect reportedly then took a piece of wood and dealt Habiboodean blows to the head until he fell motionless; he then disposed of the wood in the backyard.
He also reportedly said that the relative told him that there were other relatives who had already been given certain assets and she was impatient to receive her share.
The suspect also indicated to investigators that after the act was committed, he was given $5,000 and told to go to the interior and he would receive the rest when he returned, as the police had already arrested three persons.
He said he went to Puruni Backdam and returned two years later, at which point he was told that the rest of the cash promised to him was used to pay a lawyer and to spend at the “tuck shop.” He said he never asked again.