Razac autopsy pointing to murder
May 9, 2007
Swiss House Cambio Managing Director, Farouk Razac was more than likely strangled to death, reports from an autopsy conducted yesterday morning revealed.
Sources say Dr. Nehaul Singh who conducted the autopsy has taken samples for toxicological testing in the event that the need arises. Relatives are also mulling whether to contract a private pathologist to conduct a second autopsy. They were adamant on Monday that the businessman had died from a heart condition coupled with hypertension, but police said that he had a wound to his head and marks around his neck. Two persons have so far been arrested and are assisting police with their investigations. The two include Razac's beauty queen wife, Carolan Lynch and a security guard at the Ireng Place, Bel Air property.
Lynch was taken into custody on Monday afternoon and she remained up to press time last night at the East La Penitence Police Station. A police statement yesterday on the results of the autopsy said the post-mortem gave Razac's cause of death as asphyxiation due to possible ligature strangulation.
Meanwhile, senior police sources told Stabroek News that investigators are looking into the possibility that Razac was murdered by someone close to him and the investigation would focus on this.
Razac was found dead by his wife at around 8:30 on Monday morning on the floor of their house. The businessman was bleeding through his nose and mouth at the time he was discovered. Stabroek News was told by reliable sources that Razac was almost certainly strangled and the marks that were seen around his neck bore testimony to that.
Stabroek News was told that while there is no clear case that Razac might have ingested some substance before he died the possibility exists that he was immobilised. Razac was found with his hands around his neck. Medical sources told this newspaper that the toxicology samples were taken out of precaution. The autopsy also showed internal and external tissue damage consistent with ligatures.
Police in a statement on Monday evening disclosed that it was Razac's wife who discovered him crouched on the floor. Blood was oozing from his mouth and his hands were around his neck, the police statement said, adding that a television set, which is usually at the foot of the bed, was found on the floor. The police said Razac was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The statement said further examination of his body revealed a small wound on his head and marks around his neck and that a doctor at the GHPC opined that he might have died before arriving at the hospital. Police further stated that Razac's house was guarded and there were no signs of forced entry.
Fazeel Razac, the dead businessman's brother had told reporters outside the Georgetown Hospital that Farouk had high blood pressure, which might have caused an artery to burst. Stabroek News was told that Lynch had left the couple's home around 8 am Monday to take their child to school. When she returned around 8.30 am, she found her husband lying on the floor with blood oozing from his nose. Neighbours said Razac was seen in his yard on Monday morning. Neighbours also said that Razac would normally leave for work between 6 am to 7 am, every day and it was strange that he had not left around that time on Monday.
Scores of persons had flocked the hospital on hearing the news of the businessman's death.
Razac was hospitalized at Dr Balwant Singh's Hospital towards the end of last month. At the time sources said his condition was serious and relatives had said then that he would have been flown abroad for further medical attention, but apparently, that was not done.
In 1996 Razac was jointly charged with businessman, Bramhanand Nandalall with trafficking in cocaine. It was alleged that between October 1995 and December 1996, the two businessmen conspired with others unknown to traffic in five kilos of cocaine in Georgetown. Police had said back then that the arrests were part of a continued joint probe by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Guyana Police Force, which had also led to the arrest of seven persons including a Colombian and a policeman. The seven, including a woman, were arrested at the end of a joint anti-narcotics probe conducted by members of the RCMP and local police. They were charged with conspiring with others to import 50 kilos of cocaine into Guyana. They were eventually acquitted.
The businessman was recently before the court along with Lynch on gun and ammunition charges. They were charged jointly with two counts of unlawful possession of ammunition and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm stemming from a November 10 raid on their Bel Air property. They were granted $1 million bail each and the case is currently being tried. One of four witnesses has already testified in the case.
The raid on Razac's property was said to have followed an earlier search conducted on a house in North Ruimveldt where a young woman, Rhonda Gomes, an associate of the businessman, was living. At Gomes's home, police found an assortment of weapons and cocaine. Gomes had pleaded guilty to several charges brought against her stemming from the discoveries and was sentenced to three years in prison last year December.
Razac was also detained last year May during the joint services' robust search in the city following the theft of 30 AK-47 rifles from the army storage bond at Camp Ayanganna.
He had been at the helm of Swiss House Cambio for several years after the business, which started out as a watch repair shop, was handed down to him from his father.