West Berbice robbery/murders…Final gang member confesses after capture
– was freed of killing girl, 13, when he was 16
He was just 16 years old when he was charged with murdering a 13-year-old schoolgirl and dumping her corpse in a trench. Five years after being freed of that grisly crime, 24-year-old Rooplall Abrahim is being accused of helping to kill two women and an octogenarian male in a nine-day, bloody orgy.
He’s reportedly told police that he and two 18-year-old drug addicts butchered 81-year-old grocer Doodnauth Rajkumar and his wife, Dianne Chammanlall in their home last week Sunday.
One of Abrahim’s accomplices has also implicated him in the murder of 49-year-old Anita Baichan who was bound and burned to death in her Plantation Hope, West Coast Berbice home, two Saturdays ago.
Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum said that Abrahim, called ‘Vijay’, was captured just before noon yesterday on the Number 4 Village, West Berbice foreshore. The area is six miles east of Bath Settlement, where the first home invasion and murder took place.
The ‘B’ Division ranks, supported by recruits of the Police Training School at Adventure, had reportedly been searching the area since around 08.00 hrs for the fugitive.
Fishermen in the community also assisted the ranks by lending them a boat.
Abrahim used his knowledge of the mudflat and the bush to elude the cops for several hours. But the chase eventually ended at around 11:15 hrs, with the cops taking the suspect into custody.
Abrahim was taken to the Fort Wellington Cottage Hospital for a medical checkup before being placed in a cell at the Police lockups.
Residents in the area were loud in praise for the work of the police and flocked the station to offer their congratulations.
PREVOUS MURDER CHARGE
Abrahim was previously charged with the murder of Kavita Panday, 13, whose body was found in a canal at the back of Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice, on September 8, 2008. Indications from the post mortem indicated that the girl was submerged, while still alive, in the canal. He was freed of that murder in September 2011.
With Abrahim’s capture yesterday, Crime Chief Blanhum said that police have now rounded up all three men who are linked to the recent killing spree that has shocked residents along the West Coast of Berbice.
Also in custody and facing three murder charges are Gokun Madanpaul, 18, and Neeman Rafeek, called ‘Shazam’, also 18, of Bush Lot New Scheme, Berbice.
Reports received by Kaieteur News indicate that Neeman Rafeek and his family once lived opposite murder victims Doodnauth Rajkumar and his wife, Dianne Chammanlall.
He and his family were reportedly regular visitors to the Lot 93 ‘A’ Bush Lot, Middle Dam, West Coast Berbice property. They would also allegedly sometimes take items on credit from the couple’s shop and forget to honour their debt.
The families ended up in dispute on a few occasions and Rafeek was once charged with damage to property after allegedly damaging the couple’s gate and pool table.
The matter was settled for $40,000 dollars after Mrs. Chamanlall decided that it would have been too fatiguing to have her elderly husband Doodnauth Rajkumar accompany her to court.
Rafeek and his family eventually moved out from opposite Rajkumar. However he and his friends would still frequent the couple’s premises.
From what police were told by the suspects, the plot for the robbery and eventual killing of the couple was hatched on a nearby ballfield, and was executed after the trio had “smoked a few joints and gotten high.”
The gang reportedly gained access to the building by way of a verandah door, which they were fully aware would be open, since they often visited the premises.
On confronting the victims, the gang began chopping Mr. Rajkumar and Mrs. Chammanlall, while repeatedly demanding money. But neighbours heard the commotion and summoned the police who rushed to the scene and saw the three killers scaling a fence. Neeman Rafeek was arrested at his home.
Gokun Madanpaul, a fisherman, was arrested at a West Berbice barber shop.
The killing of the first victim, Anita Baichan at Plantation Hope, West Coast Berbice, was allegedly committed by Gokun Madanpaul and Abrahim.
Mrs. Baichan and her son, Moshim Khan, were tortured and beaten to hand over their money. Their house was then set alight with the two victims still bound inside. Only the son managed to escape.
West Berbice villagers have blamed the rampant drug use among youths in the communities for the spate of murders.