Pattensen duo may have been killed over stolen drugs
February 29, 2004
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The murders of two men who were abducted and killed by suspected hitmen last year are drug-related, sources say.
The killings of Clive Mclean and Clive Savory are still unsolved, but it is now believed that they were both abducted and killed by members of the death squad who were trying to recover stolen cocaine, according to informed sources.
The two men were found dead on the Pattensen access road at Turkeyen on the morning of September 19, five days after a robbery at a location in the Essequibo river, where the drugs were being stored.
Six armed men struck at the location during the early hours of the morning, overpowering night watchmen before they raided boats that were moored at the time. The men escaped with millions worth of equipment, which included an outboard engine that sources say was actually a storage container for a quantity of cocaine. Several sealed packets of the drug were hidden inside the engine, though it is not certain whether or not this was known by the robbers, who also stole several other engines.
Savory, who had had a number of brushes with the law, has been named by several persons as one of the six men who were involved in the robbery. It was theorised at the time of the killings that he was murdered by death squad hitmen for this reason, and McLean, merely for his association with the man.
Savory, it is said, took the engine to McLean who was asked to find buyers, which he tried to do but was unsuccessful.
He then tried to find buyers himself, although his eagerness to sell incited suspicion in one man who considered the purchase of the engine. He thought better of it but agreed to keep it in storage while Savory tried to find people who might have been interested.
Stabroek News was told that the potential buyer took apart the engine and it was at this point that he found several sealed parcels of the substance which were wrapped in plastic. Afraid, he repacked the drugs in the engine.
On the day before he was killed McLean was visited by someone with law enforcement connections who accused him of stealing the engine and demanded that he hand it over, while threatening that he would disappear if he didn't. It is unclear for whom this visitor worked or whether he was involved in either the abduction or the murder on the following day.
The engine was recovered in the area the next day by one of the suspected hitmen, who is believed to have been the man who lured McLean to his death.
Sources said that he visited McLean briefly before the abduction. The men talked and the visitor then made a phone call using his mobile before he left the area.
Minutes later, McLean was sitting on his bike near Pineapple street along with Savory. Residents said the men were seized after a white car approached and hit McLean off the bike. He was then forced into the car by its occupants who also placed Savory into the vehicle before speeding off.
Only minutes before their bullet-pierced bodies were found, a white car was spotted on the deserted Pattensen road. It is suspected that they may have been killed elsewhere and then transported to the isolated spot where their bodies were dumped, similar to some other unexplained killings over the course of the last two years.
The police issued a statement after the discovery of the bodies, but it conflicted with the version of events told by eyewitnesses. They reported that a motor car had approached and opened fire on the men before speeding off. The statement did not account for how the men ended up on the East Coast Demerara, so far from their homes in East Ruimveldt and at La Grange, on the West Bank Demerara.
People who witnessed the abduction later made reports to the police but the information was never acted upon, and no one has been arrested for the murders.
It is believed that the hitmen who killed the two men were hired to do so and this concurs with statements which were made by self-professed ex-informant for the group, George Bacchus. He had said that members of a group that was set up to kill wanted criminals during the crime wave switched to work for hire killings after they had served their primary task.
Bacchus said the gang worked for people who were willing to pay and this included some members of the business community with suspected drug links.
He said he had complained about the group's activities to the Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj, who while knowledgeable about the group's primary task was none-the-wiser about the hired killings.
He said his complaints were filtered to the group who planned to murder him but mistakenly killed his brother Shafeek instead during a drive-by shooting where the perpetrators were heard screaming, "Wrong man! Wrong Man!" before they sped away.
Three men, Ashton King, Shawn Hinds and Mark Thomas, called 'Kerzorkee' who were identified by Bacchus were later arrested and charged for the murder of Shafeek Bacchus. Thomas, who was admitted to hospital after collapsing, later died mysteriously there.