PORT OF SPAIN – Over a dozen people are believed to be marked for death following the murder of millionaire car dealer Sheron Sukhdeo. His associates and residents from his community say they are now living under a self-imposed curfew as they brace for the expected casualties between warring family members.
Among those marked are Sukhdeo’s wife Rachael, several members of her family and people employed by her. So far, four have already been killed. These include Rachael’s brother Phillip Bassant, close friend Joshua Plaza and her driver and confidante Kerwin Beckles, who was shot dead around 10 p.m. on Sunday.
The feud has left residents of Caroni Savannah Road, Chaguanas and close environs so terrified that many are closing their businesses early.
“Normally we close about 5 pm but these days because of the crime we closing at 3 pm,” a business owner told the T&T Guardian when a news team yesterday visited the area where Sukhdeo had most of his businesses and his relatives’ home.
A source said a close male relative was almost killed on Friday night while attending a wake for a person associated with Rachael Sukhdeo.
“They started to shoot up the wake and he had to run for his life. He hide in the drain and that was how he escaped,” the source said.
The source said they were now fearful their entire family could be marked for death by the person/s who killed Plaza and Bassant.
“I told him not to go to that wake. Doing so will be dangerous. Right now our whole family is scared,” the source said.
Since her husband’s murder, Rachel has turned her home at Xavier Extension Road into a fortress. Three rolls of barbed wire have been erected on the periphery of the house and surveillance cameras have been placed to cover every angle. Any vehicle that stops in front of the house is usually red-flagged and traced, a source added. Nobody knows the whereabouts of Sukhdeo’s children.
Since Sheron’s death, Rachael has also rarely been seen in the village.
“She used to come and buy in the parlour you know, but not anymore. Not since Sheron died,” a businesswoman said.
When the T&T Guardian visited Caroni Savannah Road yesterday, Sukhdeo’s parents’ home and business-place remained shut tight. One of their neighbours said he was sorry for Rachael’s parents, noting they came from humble beginnings and never benefited from Sheron’s wealth.
Police say his criminal empire was financed by money launderers and the drug cartel spanned 15 years and was well protected by the Muslim Gang.
Sheldon’s Auto, owned by Sheron’s brother Sheldon Sukhdeo, also remained closed yesterday, but business continued at a brisk pace from his mother’s home. Several lots along the stretch housing used vehicles owned by Sheron were barricaded.
A resident said the lots had been illegally occupied by Sheron as he expanded his empire.
“He used to rent there and then he stopped paying the rent and occupied the land as if it was his own. Nobody told him anything because he owned all the officers from the Chaguanas Police Station. People covered for him, including (name called),” she said.
Now that Sheron is dead, anyone who is seen associating with his family could be placed on the hit list, she noted.
Another source said a man threatened to burn down her home if she gave any information to the police. She called on the police to boost patrols in the community saying law-abiding residents were afraid for their lives.
Police said yesterday they had also been hearing talk about a “hit list” going but have been unable to verify if this is accurate or not.
Victims in feud:
March 26: Sheron Sukhdeo, 33, aka World Boss, was shot dead outside the home of his in-laws at Caroni Savannah Road, Charlieville, Chaguanas.
April 22: Sukhdeo’s neighbour Joshua Plaza, 21, of Savannah Heights, Charlieville, was shot dead. Like Sheron, he received a phone call and when he walked outside he was killed in cold blood.
May 4: Phillip Bassant, Rachael’s younger brother, received a call of death and when he walked outside was gunned down almost in almost the same spot where Sheron was killed. It is believed both Bassant and Plaza were directly involved in Sheron’s murder
May 13: Kerwin Beckles was shot dead near the New Settlement Savannah in Chaguanas. He had just left the Madhoo Crystal Place Recreation Bar and was crossing the road. He was shot several times and died on the way to the hospital. (T&T Guardian)