Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 9th 2015 Contents A5
Saturday, January 9, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
An ongoing court matter for
drug trafficking may be respon-
sible for the murder of
Chatham labourer Sham
Maharaj, who was gunned
down at Chatham Beach yes-
Maharaj was accused of trans-
porting drugs five years ago and
it is believed he was targeted
because he could identify others
involved in the drug ring. How-
ever, his family believe this has
nothing to do with his death as
this incident happened long ago
and he had no threats on his
His murder was the sixth in
the community since last July
and follows the massacre of
Grace Toussaint, 55, her husband
Peter Baptiste, 59, son Jeremy
Toussaint, 24, and mother Leena
Investigators believe the family
was wiped out because Jeremy
witnessed the murder of their
neighbour Stephon Sinnette ear-
lier that month.
According to reports, Maharaj,
45, of Iros Forest, Chatham, was
discovered dead at the roadside
by his 21-year-old son Vesham
around 9.30 am along South
The father of three boys had
three gunshot wounds to the
head, neck and chest and lay
mere metres from his white
It is believed he was
ambushed by someone hiding
in the bush who ordered him
out the pick-up and shot him.
He died with his hands up in
the air, as if he was surrendering
to his killer.
At the beach yesterday,
Vesham said his father was
employed at the Siparia Regional
Corporation and sold dry
coconut at the Point Fortin Mar-
He said his father left for work
at Cedros around 6 am and
returned home at 9 am. At the
time, Vesham was already on
the beach collecting coconuts
and while driving back to the
road he saw his father lying on
Afraid that the killer was still
hiding in the bush, he said he
stayed from a distance and called
his mother Asha.
"I stopped to see if he was
still alive, but I stayed at a dis-
tance because I did not know if
anyone was hiding in the bush.
I called my mom and told her
that I saw my father shot on the
beach. I told her to call the police
and she started to bawl on the
phone," Vesham said.
Asha said when she got the
news she thought he was still
alive and needed treatment. It
was only when she and other
relatives arrived at the beach
they realised he was dead.
She recalled: "He went to
work and he came back already.
He came home, ate his breakfast
and came down here to collect
coconuts because he is a vendor
at the Point Fortin Market...I
thought he got a little shot and
we could just come and take him
to the hospital, but when we
came here it was not like that.
When I came here I just saw
him lying down, no movement.
We couldn't do anything again."
Maharaj was arrested and
charged five years ago for trans-
porting marijuana for a drug
His brother Proprodeo
Maharaj said someone gave him
the drugs and told him he had
to transport it. He said his broth-
er was not involved into any-
thing else since then.
Proprodeo, who is also
employed at the regional cor-
poration, said he and his brother
were very close and attended
the funeral of a friend this week.
He said if his brother was threat-
ened or worried about anything
he would have known.
Man slain in Sea Lots
Another brazen murder also
occurred in broad daylight in
Sea Lots, Port-of-Spain, yes-
According to a police report,
at about 11.45 am Kwesi
Solomon was seated in the dri-
ver's seat of a black car when
he was approached by a gunman
who opened fire on him.
Solomon was shot in the head
and body. The gunman then
The shooting took place near
On Thursday at about 11 am,
two men identified as Matthew
"Smeagol" Simmons and
Oswald Bailey were killed in Bel-
Police are continuing their
The murder toll stood at 12
for the year up to last evening.
The Director of Medicine on the
Tobago Regional Health Authority
Board, Dr Maria Dillon-Remy yester-
day tendered her resignation from the
board with immediate effect.
The T&T Guardian understands that
Dillon-Remy cited personal reasons for
However, the decision comes on the
heels of the announcement that three
doctors had been suspended by the
TRHA over their involvement in the c-
section surgery and subsequent death
of nursery school principal Rose Gordon
35, of Charlotteville.
Dillon-Remy, a pediatrician, has been
attached to the TRHA since 1997 and
reportedly plans to return to her private
Dillon-Remy was a part of a nine-
member board which was given their
instruments of appointment in March
2014. The life of the board was expected
to last two years and was scheduled to
be dissolved in March this year.
In November 2014, mere eight
months after the board was constituted,
the chairman, Trevor Craig, also
At the time, Craig said the "dishon-
est" actions of the Secretary of Health
and Social Services, Claudia Groome-
Duke, prompted his resignation.
His resignation came after a row over
the payment of a $1,000 telephone
allowance to the board members.
Since then, deputy chair Lydia Peters
has been acting as board chair.
With the loss of two board members,
however, the TRHA board is now not
properly constituted and can no longer
Efforts to contact Groome-Duke yes-
terday were unsuccessful as she did not
answer her cellphone nor return mes-
A wounded Matthew "Smeagol" Simmons
took justice into his own hands on Thursday,
when he wrestled with his killer and managed
to shoot him with his own gun, an eyewitness
told the T&T Guardian yesterday.
The eyewitness, who spoke on condition of
anonymity, said Simmons was in a taxi on his
way home when the car was blocked by another
vehicle---a white AD wagon.
"As Smeagol see the car pull up and the
masked man come out, he jumped out of the
taxi and ran up to him. Smegol was shot but he
still ran up to the masked gunman and began
fighting with him," the eyewitness said.
"He managed to reach for the gun and shot
the killer with his own gun. The masked man
dropped down right on the road and as Smegol
attempted to walk away he drop down on the
pavement where he died. The man get his own
justice yes, because the police don't give none."
The masked gunman was later identified as
Speaking with the T&T Guardian at the Foren-
sic Science Centre in St James yesterday, Sim-
mons' sister, Jahalia, said she heard the same
account given by the eyewitness and added that
she believed people wanted her brother dead a
long time ago. She said she believed her brother
was killed because he was placed in the leadership
of a gang before others who were from the Bel-
"First of all, my brother grew up in a very
good home and it is just he fell in the wrong
hands of the wrong people. There was a spilt
in the gang he was in and because he was close
to one of the senior members he was placed in
the leadership position. I think he was not liked
because of the fact that he was originally from
Morvant," Jahalia said.
She said her brother was on his way home
from making an appearance at the Port-of-Spain
Magistrates' Court earlier that day.
"They always tried to get him arrested for
something and they had arrested him for stealing
electricity so he had to go to court. So like he
was seen in the court earlier that day by the
same people who wanted him dead too, so they
just planned what they were going to do," Jahalia
said. Investigations are continuing.
Relatives of Sham Maharaj in grief at scene where his body was
found yesterday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
wrestled with attacker
Medicine director quits TRHA board
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