Body of kidnapped Lethem businessman believed found
Stabroek News
July 6, 2003


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Police in Brazil yesterday found what is believed to be the skeletal remains of Lethem businessman Mohamed Khan, two weeks after he was kidnapped in the neighbouring country.

A number of Brazilian police have been held in connection with the kidnapping.

Several items, which Stabroek News understands were positively identified as belonging to the missing businessman were found with the remains at around 3 pm yesterday afternoon by police in a savannah in the village of Sao Silvestre some 80 km southwest of the town of Boa Vista.

The body, the report further said, appeared to have been burnt prior to being dumped in the savannah land. It appeared to have been in the open for some time.

Relatives, including the businessmanís wife Linda, son Junior, daughter Natasha Macedo and her husband John Macedo, who were in the Brazilian town, are said to have positively identified the items at a local morgue as belonging to the missing Khan.

Among the objects which relatives identified at the morgue yesterday were a gold ring, fragments of Khanís clothing, a belt buckle, footwear and a pair of sunglasses. Khan was kidnapped on June 22.

According to reports, Khan, owner of the Savannah Inn hotel in Lethem, was taken off a bus by a group of men near the border town of Bon Fim while on his way to Manaus on a business trip.

Also present at the Boa Vista morgue yesterday were officials of the Guyana Consulate in Boa Vista and other businessmen from Lethem who travelled to the neighbouring state with relatives.

The remains, Stabroek News was told, are likely to be kept in the Brazilian town of Boa Vista for the next five days where police will continue to probe the matter.

This newspaper was reliably informed that Khanís relatives returned to Lethem last evening and are currently in the process of finalising arrangements for the return of his remains and final rites.

Police investigating the matter in the neighbouring state, this newspaper understands, are eager to use DNA testing to positively identify the remains but this procedure will likely take up to three months.

Relatives had received a call from Khanís abductors demanding a hefty ransom shortly after he went missing.

Another body recently found in the neighbouring country was initially believed to be that of the missing man. It however turned out to be that of a Brazilian. (Oscar P. Clarke)