Luxury Cabs driver killed, gun stolen By Kim Lucas
Stabroek News
September 1, 2002

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A taxi driver attached to Luxury Cabs was brutally murdered on Friday night in a yard at Canal Number One, as he tried desperately to escape his attackers.

Motilall Lall called 'Ricky', 45, of 8 D'Andrade Street and Vlissengen Road, Newtown, Georgetown, was found slashed to death. His licensed revolver has been stolen.

Stabroek News understands that the man booked his last pick-up at 9:19 pm on Friday and headed for La Grange, West Bank Demerara. It was the last time he was seen alive.

Another driver attached to the service told Stabroek News yesterday that he was in Lall's white Toyota Corolla AE-100, PHH 3468, at the time of the pick-up.

He explained that Lall was dropping him off at the Vlissengen Road base, operated by Lall's cousin, when someone, who identified himself as 'Shawn', asked to be picked up at the corner of Garnett and Republic streets. That location is just around the block from the base.

"He get a call last night [Friday] to pick up at the corner of Republic and Garnett [Streets]. This person say his name was 'Shawn' who living at La Grange [West Bank Demerara]. The La Grange confirm this Shawn, because we know is somebody who normally give he contract work. But when he pull up on the location, while bringing me in to base, [he saw that] it wasn't [the Shawn he knew]. He ask me to ask which one of them name Shawn and one of them walk up and say, yes, he name Shawn. So Ricky say he going and drop me off... He bring me and turn back and go and pick them up and that was it. 'Til this morning, then I know Ricky didn't return home after the job," the driver said.

Reports suggest that some time during the night, Lall tried to tell his wife that something was not right. One friend of the family said Lall's wife, Suzie, had called her husband to find out what he wanted to eat. The man's response was: "I deh with these boys, going over the river to La Grange. These boys deh pon a business ..." The phone went dead.

The initial report Stabroek News received was that Lall, who had returned from Canada some years ago and opened Suzie's Roti Shop on Vlissengen Road, was missing. But by 8:00 am yesterday, the search was called off when the cab driver was found dead.

According to reports, Lall was stabbed and slashed several times in the face, neck and hands. After his neck was slashed, he jumped over a fence and ran into Ishwardyal's yard at 6 Studley Park, Canal Number One Polder, West Bank Demerara, in an attempt to escape his attackers.

But the occupants of the house, fearful that they were under attack, remained behind closed doors, raised an alarm and called the police at La Grange.

Ishwardyal yesterday recounted Friday night's ordeal: "How the crisis ah run with these bandits we thought was thief... At about 11:30 [pm], the guy jumped meh gate. We start holler out for 'Thief!' and just a few minutes after a car pass up and down and we holler out for 'Thief!' and them come and say, 'Whey de man deh?' They say he is bandit and them jump de gate - two of them. They ask, 'Which side?' and me say the back step. When them go up de back step, me can't see, but all me hear shot go off." He said the men had asked him for the keys to his front gate, but he refused.

The man said the two men then jumped back over the gate and drove off. For about 15 minutes after the two men left, he said there were thumping and gasping sounds still coming from the direction of his back door.

"We couldn't open we door. We see three body come in the yard and two come out... He [Lall was] kicking at the door fighting for he life. About 15 minutes later, then he stop kick and groan and then people start come out," another occupant of the house stated.

Ishwardyal said that when other residents in the area started coming out of their homes, only then did they throw the gate keys to one of their neighbours. Lall's bloody body was found at the top of the stairs.

"The whole place was blood... the post, till upstairs to the back door."

Residents said the police arrived about 45 minutes later and removed the body at around 3:00 am yesterday.

Lall's car was found early yesterday morning, abandoned on the deserted road leading to a Guyana Sugar Corporation establishment in Canal Number One Polder, about a three-minute drive from Ishwardyal's place.

One source told this newspaper that there was a lot of blood inside the car. Two live rounds were found near Ishwardyal's gate and a spent shell was found in the backseat of the car.

When his body was found, Lall was reportedly still wearing all of his jewellery - a gold band, several gold finger rings, a watch and a gold chain. About $7,000, too, were found in one of his pockets.

The man's body bore stab wounds to the forehead, chin and neck. He was apparently slashed on both sides of the neck and there were chops on his hands, as if he had raised them to protect himself.

Sources claimed, too, that Lall's car was spotted at a Sheriff Street nightspot at around midnight on Friday, at Plaisance and somewhere on the East Bank Demerara.

At his home yesterday morning, friends of the family voiced disgust at the government's seeming inability to deal with the crime situation.

One woman lamented: "Yuh wuking fo earn yuh daily bread, they got to kill you. You can't go out pon de road fo sell, yuh can't do nothing. What you trying so hard night and day for? What yuh living for?"