Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 29th 2013 Contents A5
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, August 29, 2013
A 33-year-old accused drug trafficker was shot
dead while playing a game of cards with friends in
Tacarigua yesterday afternoon.
According to police reports, around 1.15 pm, Phil
Bess, of Laurel Hill, Five Rivers, Arouca, was playing
cards at a friend s home at Second Hill, Kandahar,
Tacarigua, when a gunman approached them.
Police said the gunman shot Bess five times before
running away. He did not attack Bess friends.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Arouca CID, led by ASP Hosein, interviewed Bess
friends but police sources said some of them were
Investigators said Bess was well known to them
and had a lengthy criminal record.
In March, Bess and two friends were charged with
trafficking 19 kilos of marijuana with a street value
of $270,000. The trio were arrested on March 27 at
a house near where yesterday s shooting occurred.
Bess pleaded not guilty to the charge and was
placed on $60,000 bail. The case is currently before
Senior Magistrate Lucina Cardenas-Ragoonanan in
the Arima First Court.
Detectives from the Region Two Homicide Bureau
are probing the murder.
Colleagues of attorney Wesley Debideen expressed
shock and sadness yesterday over his killing.
His sister-in-law, Angela Govia, who spoke from a
house in Kelly Village, Caroni, where the attorney was
born and raised, said relatives were busy with funeral
Debideen was married but had no children.
Govia said several lawyers had visited to offer their
condolences, including Farid Scoon, Peter Taylor and
Scoon and Debideen represented former Hindu Credit
Union (HCU) president Harry Harnarine at the com-
mission of enquiry into the HCU.
Harnarine told the T&T Guardian Debideen was the
instructing attorney for all the HCU matters in court,
several of them high-profiled but said he did not think
they would lead to such an attack.
He added: "We did not have confrontations in any
of them. I can t imagine he would have any enemies.
I am anxiously awaiting word from the police about the
Debideen was always private about his work, keeping
his cases confidential and the family did not know much,
His murder had left the family in shock, Govia said.
"It was clearly a hit. All his credit cards and money
were intact. He got 12 bullets. I saw his body," she added.
Asked if relatives were fearful for their own lives, she
said: "Not really."
Homicide police at the Arouca Police Station who are
investigating reportedly have some leads, she said.
Debideen will be buried tomorrow after a funeral at
10 am at the Kelly Presbyterian Church.
Govia said he was a "strong Presbyterian" who was
involved in a lot of activities in his home church before
he migrated to Canada and then returned to live at
Mountain View, Maracas, St Joseph.
She said he had a PhD in food technology and at 60
decided he wanted to get into law. He practised criminal
and civil law.
Contrary to what was previously reported, Debideen
was not related to magistrate Brian Debideen.
His execution-styled killing was, however, yesterday
linked to a case involving a moneylender.
Debideen, 68, was shot 12 times through the wind-
screen of his car as he drove out of a crowded parking
lot on Tuesday at the Grand Bazaar, Valsayn.
After his first official day at a technical
school, a 16-year-old Laventille resident
was shot dead as he made his way home
The teen s murder occurred within hours
of another in Laventille, in which a 32-
year-old baker was killed during a robbery
at his business.
The murder toll stood at 256 up to late
Karim Maxime, an electrical installation
student from Eastern Quarry, Laventille,
was shot more than a dozen times by two
gunmen who ambushed him near the gates
of the Laventille Technology and Contin-
uing Education Centre.
Moments after the shooting police
arrived, led by Insp Sahadeo Singh, and
arrested the two suspects in Beetham Gar-
dens, which is opposite the trade school.
The suspects, aged 22 and 24, were
detained at the Besson Street Police Station
and were being questioned by homicide
detectives up to last night.
Homicide detectives have classified the
shooting as gang-related and were bracing
for reprisal attacks last night.
Police believe the shooting was part of
an ongoing turf war between rival gangs
in Beetham and Laventille.
Maxime was walking out of the centre
towards the Eastern Main Road shortly
after 2 pm when he was attacked by the
two gunmen. Police said one of the men
was armed with a sub-machine gun and
the other a pistol. After shooting Maxime,
they ran towards Beetham Gardens.
Maxime was pronounced dead on the
scene and more than 25 spent 9 mm shells
were found near his body. The incident
was captured by CCTV cameras positioned
outside the school, police said.
When a news team from the T&T
Guardian visited yesterday, residents of
both communities stood on opposite sides
of the Eastern Main Road and Priority Bus
Route to catch a glimpse of the crime scene.
Heavily armed police were telling them
to stay in their respective areas while some
of the opposing factions exchanged obscen-
ities at each other.
A group of men were seen trying to run
acrosss towards Beetham Gardens but
turned around after spotting a group of
police patrolling the area.
One of Maxime s relatives said: "This
war going on a long time now. I would not
come back here even if they pay me."
Maxime s father, Peter, explained that
he and Karim s mother had enrolled him
in the school after he recently graduated
from the Russell Latapy High School, Mor-
"He had too much free time on his hands
so we send him to the school to learn the
trade he always like," Peter said.
The elder Maxime said while he could
not describe his son as an angel, "he didn t
deserve to die so."
"He was trying to better himself," the
senior Maxime said.
Police are also investigating the murder
of Jason Butcher, who was shot dead behind
the counter of his Laventille bakery yes-
Shortly after 6 am, Butcher, the father
of four, was working at his bakery at Old
St Joseph Road, Laventille, when two armed
men entered. They robbed Butcher of
$1,000 and his BlackBerry cellphone, then
shot him once in the head before running
away. Butcher died on the spot.
In an interview at his home yesterday,
Butcher s relatives described him as kind
"It unfair. He does wake up early every
morning to sell in the bakery and look how
they just rob him and kill him," a female
ASP Ajith Persad, Insps Brown and
Maharaj are probing Butcher s murder.
Peter Maxime comforts his children after they viewed the body of his 16-year-old son, Karim, who was shot dead outside the
Laventille Technology and Continuing Educational Centre, Eastern Main Road, Laventille, yesterday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Cops fear reprisals in Laventille as...
Teen slain on first
day at new school Drug accused killed
during card game
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