accused Allan Martin, left, walks with his attorney
Larry Williams on their way to speak with the media
on Maraval Road, Newtown, last night. Photo: Anthony
IN A dramatic late night development, Homicide detectives
arrested Allan Martinthe man alleged to be the mastermind
in the kidnap and murder of Xtra Foods chief executive officer
Vindra Naipaul-Coolmanon Maraval Road in Port-of-Spain,
outside state-owned Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG) studio.
Martin was held shortly after he gave an interview to members
of the media in which he protested his innocence, claiming
it was a set-up and conspiracy by the
police know what mischief they are up to, he said,
as he called the names of two senior police officers.
Police yesterday launched a nationwide manhunt for Martin,
34, whose last known address was corner of Gandhi Street
and Caroni Old Road, Caroni. He is originally from La Puerta
in Diego Martin and is the father of eight.
He said he knew the ten men arrested and charged with Naipaul-Coolmans
murder, but said they, too, were innocent of the charge.
Martin also said he gave himself up to police in December
in connection with the disappearance of Naipaul-Coolman
but was released after one day and has since had several
attempts made on his life.
He said he was willing to assist police in their investigations,
but said he could not cut a deal since he did not know anything.
can you cut a deal, if you dont know anything?
Martin said he had no connection with the underworld and
felt he was a target because of his Muslim faith and his
friendship with Selwyn Robocop Alexis, whom
he described as his Muslim brother.
Hours before he was arrested by CID officers, Martin said
he wanted to give himself up at the Success/Laventille Composite
School where Prime Minister Patrick Manning and senior National
Security and police officials were holding a public crime
After his short interview with the media, Martin was arrested
and read his rights by PC Amon of the Port-of-Spain CID
and taken to CID headquarters on St Vincent Street, in the
company of his attorney Larry Williams.
At around 7.30 last night, Williams informed the media his
client wanted to surrender to the police, but not before
he had cleared his name publicly.
He arrived at CNMGs studios at Maraval Road at around
Martin, who had been on the run, and who police strongly
believed would have fled the country, was contacted by his
wife after she got wind that the police had issued a wanted
poster and bulletin stating that Martin might be attempting
to flee the country and that he was believed to be armed
Martin, who goes by the alias Scanny, has been
charged along with ten other suspects, bringing to 11 the
number of people charged with the businesswomans murder
The charge was laid based on the same information police
have in their possession which led to the criminal prosecution
against the ten others.
Police, who said they were relentlessly pursuing all leads
in the Naipaul-Coolman abduction and murder, also said yesterday
that charges were expected to be laid against two more men
involved in the crime.
A medical doctor is also being sought by authorities.
Naipaul-Coolman was snatched by gunmen outside her Radix
Road home in Lange Park, Chaguanas, on December 19, 2006.
The case, which went cold last year, turned last week when
investigators, during a massive raid on the hillside community
of La Puerta in Diego Martin, yielded significant pieces
of evidence which led to the arrest and eventual charges
being laid against the 11 men so far.
accused appears in court
accused Lyndon James is escorted to the Port-of-Spain Magistrates
Court yesterday. Photo: Karla Ramoo
Another Upper La Puerta, Diego Martin, manthe tenth
person accused of murdering Xtra Foods chief executive officer
Vindra Naipaul-Coolman has appeared in court.
Lyndon Iron James stood alone in the prisoners
docks before Chief Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls yesterday,
close to an hour after the other nine charged with Naipaul-Coolmans
slaying made their second appearance in court.
On Monday, the nine accused men went before Senior Magistrate
Lianne Lee Kim on the indictable charge.
They are Shevon Buffy Peters, 20; Ronald 22
Armstrong, 27; Akiel Crime B Gloster, 20; Keidan
Ileida Garcia, 22; Earl Bobo Tremmingham,
24; Marlon Madman Tremmingham, 23; Antonio Hedges
Charles, 29; Joey Joey Ogiste Lewis, 21, and
Joel Ninja Fraser, 23.
They reappeared yesterday before Mc Nicolls, only three
with lawyers and the others yet to secure legal representation.
James, the eldest of the ten at 34 years-old, stood silently
as the charge was read to him by the Chief Magistrate.
His appearance was brief and he was walked to the St Vincent
Street courthouse by police, unlike the nine others who
had to be brought in an Amalgamated Security prisons van.
He and the others are expected to reappear in court on May
James, an air-condition technician, was allegedly held by
police at the Piarco International Airport on Monday as
he was about to board a flight to St Vincent.
Yesterday, there was still a no-show of relatives of the
slain businesswoman, but those of the nine men packed the
Eighth Court and communicated with them in hushed tones,
hand gestures and nods of the head as they were being led
out the courtroom.
Earlier, Glosters lawyer Theodore Guerra, SC, complained
that his client had been kept in custody for six days before
he was taken to court and asked that the preliminary inquiry
am ready Guerra said, although told by the Chief Magistrate
that the other accused men were still to get lawyers.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Carla Brown-Antoine,
who was present in court for another case, said she was
unaware of anyone being kept in custody, adding that she
would make inquiries in response to Guerras claim.
Attorney Patrick Godson-Phillip, who represents Fraser,
again renewed his application for disclosure of station
diary extracts during his clients incarceration, as
well as copies of interviews and statements taken.
It is alleged that James, together with others on a day
unknown between December 18, 2006, and May 12, 2007, at
Upper La Puerta, Diego Martin, murdered Naipaul-Coolman.
Although ten men are before the courts for Naipaul-Coolmans
murder, ACP (Homicide) Maurice Piggott said at a media briefing
on Monday that police investigations were far from
Chamber shares familys pain
Greater Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce has extended
condolences to the family and relatives of murdered businesswoman
In a statement yesterday, the chamber said Naipaul-Coolmans
contribution to our society were immeasurable and
now her death, though not unexpected, after this long period,
has seared the hearts of our community, reliving the nightmares
and speculation of her kidnapping, the manner of her treatment
in the hands of her kidnappers and fears for our family.
It stated, With this pain comes the cry for vengeance
against the perpetrators. Apparent closure has now come
to this dastardly affair and with it the end of speculation.
We share the pain of the family knowing that their greatest
fears have been realised.
The chamber also commended members of the protective services
for its use of modern-day forensic techniques which they
said was instrumental in this case.
The chamber stated the necessary legislation must be put
in place to ensure that such evidence was widely used
in all avenues of criminal investigation.
The organisation is also calling on the Government to expand
the forensic capabilities in this regard.
In the statement, the chamber said it hoped that in all
investigations due process is used to ensure there
is conviction of the guilty parties. It is our fervent wish
that final closure can come quickly, to all of us, when
her (Naipaul-Coolmans) remains are found.