A man accused of killing a scrap metal dealer in 2008 is being questioned by Police in relation to the execution-style killing of gold miner Ricardo Fagundes, which took place about three weeks ago in the vicinity of Palm Court, Main Street, Georgetown.
Hours after Police issued a wanted bulletin for his arrest on Tuesday, 40-year-old Rondell Bacchus also called “Killa” of C Field Sophia, Greater Georgetown, surrendered to detectives at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters, Eve Leary.
Bacchus was slapped with a 16-year jail sentence in 2019 after he pleaded guilty to a lesser count of manslaughter. He reportedly killed Akbar Alli. The Judge at the time had deducted 11 years from the sentence for the time he spent in jail awaiting his trial.
In light of this development, the acting Director of the Guyana Prison Service on Tuesday explained that the wanted man was admitted to prison on August 15, 2008, for the offences of murder, armed robbery and possession of firearm and ammunition.
On September 16, 2009, he was committed to stand trial at the Demerara High Court and on April 2, 2019, he appeared in court where he pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter and was sentenced to sixteen (16) years, eight (8) months’ imprisonment.
“In addition, he was further sentenced to three (3) years for the robbery under arms, one (1) year for the possession of a firearm and one (1) year for the possession of ammunitions. The sentences were concurrent and it commenced from the admission date, which is August 15, 2008,” a release stated.
Bacchus was, however, discharged from prison on October 3, 2019, after serving his prison term.
On the other hand, the Police in a subsequent release explained that investigators of the Major Crimes Unit have retrieved CCTV footage from one of the cameras mounted in the vicinity of the crime scene and it is being enhanced for evidential purposes.
“Further, the specific footage has been seen by relatives of Ricardo Fagundes during an update given to them by the Police,” the Police stated. Further, the Police added that based on investigations, the wanted bulletin was issued for Bacchus.
On March 21, Fagundes, 42, a gold dealer of Lot 25 Sandy Babb Street, Georgetown, was shot about 10 times after stepping out of Palm Court to take a phone call.
The Police had said after hearing several gunshots, persons rushed out of the party spot only to find Fagundes lying motionlessly in a pool of blood in close proximity of his car.
Less than 24 hours after the shooting incident, Police found a white wagon, which is suspected to have been used by the killers, on fire at Swan, on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.
While investigators have not confirmed that it was in fact the same car, CCTV footage of the shooting shows the two gunmen emerging from a car of the same model and colour. They used the same vehicle to escape.
Fagundes was no stranger to the law. He was arrested on several occasions by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) for questioning into a massive money-laundering scheme. During the raids that were conducted by SOCU, a number of vehicles, boats, and several high-profile weapons and ammunition were seized.
Meanwhile, at the funeral service of Fagundes, his best friend, Shaheed Roger Khan, who was convicted by a US court for drug smuggling, broke his silence with regards to the execution. Khan had accused the Police of not diligently investigating the apparent execution, in which he was the actual target, and called for the authorities to ensure there is a “clean and impartial” investigation.
He also made allegations that the present investigation has been compromised. Shortly after Khan made the statement, the Police refuted that the murder investigation has been comprised, while noting that detectives are working tirelessly to bring closure to the case.