Drug Den for Rich

By Nalinee Seelal and Alexander Bruzual
Saturday, August 21 2010

GunsA day after they made one of the biggest weapons seizures, police described the Valsayn mansion of late millionaire contractor Hafeez Karamath as a drug den for the rich; a factory for the manufacture of exotic high-end hallucinogens.

Investigators estimate the mansion, located on a one acre property in the upscale neighbourhood of Palm Road, Valsayn, is worth more than $12 million.

They reported that “preferred clients” visited the mansion day and night. A ten-foot wall, which has a row of lights all around it, surrounds the compound which had a fleet of heavily tinted Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs).

Residents believe the compound housed a casino which operated daily, and included armed security and a limousine chauffeur service to take clients home after heavy gambling.

It was purely by accident that the police stumbled upon a cache of arms, ammunition and drugs during a search carried out on Thursday at Karamath’s residence as part of the ongoing probe into alleged corrupt activities at the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (Udecott).
Full Article : newsday.co.tt


…Documents, guns, drugs seized
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan yesterday said the police may have made a huge breakthrough in their investigations into the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT).

…Six relatives face gun, ammo, drug charges
Six relatives of late contractor Hafeez Karamath have been charged with possession of guns, ammunition and dangerous drugs.

…HKL and Tarouba
Amid the investigations into the discovery of 18 firearms at the mansion of deceased businessman Hafeez Karamath, it cannot be forgotten that the officers of the Anti-Corruption Investigation Bureau (ACIB) originally went to the Valsayn residence in search of documents relating to alleged corrupt activities involving Karamath’s construction company and Udecott.

14 thoughts on “Drug Den for Rich”

  1. SAVE OUR COUNTRY!!!! I wish the government continue to search, arrest AND JAIL the big people who are bringing in the guns and drugs that are destroying our country. Locking down communities will not solve the murders but arresting and jailing the Mr. Bigs in those respectable areas that habor and breed guns and drugs will put a dent in the murders.

  2. And all the while,the last twenty years, we have been thinking as a society that Abu BAkr was THE PROBLEM,that he was supplying guns to youth etc. Over and over the police have raided his compound at Mucurapo and found nothing but a school of well behaved children. All this while,they have not been looking at people in the constructing business who are best able to import guns among other construction material.The Gockings vehicles were confiscated. How did these get in? Who processed the papers?

    In China, these people,based on the evidence found would have already been tried and executed.I fully expect this family to claim 1. Citizenship of another country from which their ancestors came. 2.RAcial persecution on the part of the police officers who conducted the exercise; and other distracting nonsense.

    Now,I am on record s stating that I oppose the death penalty, in a case like this one,the police should make the people in that house swallow some of the “medicine” theywere unleasing onto the community. Sorry,I forgot we are a democracy. They will be tried, and the stuff will turn out to be a PNM plant to make the new unity party look bad.

    It is a fact tht teachers, nurses and civil servants do not get rich in TnT. You need to be in business so that 90% of your business is under the table.

    Please check their computers for lists of others.If, as Newsday suggests, it was also a brug and gambling den,there must be illegal women involved in servicing these drug addicted fools. So, look to the Venezuela and Columbia connections also.

    They may also be involved in other human trafficking, businessmen supply anything the client needs,including possible, a Vishnu Persad or a Mark Prescott, or other disappeared children. Remember the father from Dabadie who murdered his wife after she left him for selling his son? To whom did he sell the child?Look into that also. The father killed himself in south at his brother’s house. MAybe he told the brother something?

    Call in Interpol to help. This may be too big for TnT alone. The tentacles of this giant squid must reach beyond Trinidad and Tobago. Did the famliy have businesses in BArbados, Guyana, Grenada? Does the family own a boat or a small plane? There are stories I hear when in TnT of disappeared women turning up “working” in Brazil and Barbados. Pleae, check every angle.

    All this time people were led to believe that Abu BAkr was the problem. Who had an interest inkeeping this man in the forefront of the public eye as a cover for the nefarious actiities of others? Another “decout Muslim maybe. HAfeez is an Islamic name. Look again into how Mr. KAramat died. Was there a family dispute?

    Now, we will see how serious this new governmnet is about fighting crime among the higher ups and better ofs. Perhaps Gomes, who just got 13 years was merly a nice looking runner for this Mr. Big family.

    I hope all bank accounts are now frozen, pending further investigations.

    KUDOS TO THE TNT POLICE FORCE. I cannot type that big enough.I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IN YOU.Richie, Michael , Lennox and Felix, two of you have passed on already, but I salute you, and others.

  3. With one stroke of the keyboard Linda Edwards has reacted to this article with the typical Trini sensational, tribal imbalance. She has absolved Abu Bakr of all wrong doing.accused everyone in the construction industry of illegal activities,assumed that the suspects will claim racial bias,reaffirmed her belief in the death penalty,made the giant leap in logic linking the family with prostitution and Gomes, etc..etc..
    Does this woman realize that Karamath was linked to Calder Hart, Udecott and protected by the Manning regime? The raid was as a result of the investigation demanded by the PP and the present AG. Before going off on a rant, Ms Edwards should familiarise herself with the facts.The Police who was showered with praise were fully aware of the activities of this family and others linked to the PNM and were unable to act because of political considerations.

    1. TMan you need to re-read the article and you will discover that Mr. Big Karamath gained his power under UNC’s stewardship of the nation. It is quite conceivable that he grew so big that not even Patrick Manning’s PNM administration could take him down. It would not be the first time such a thing has happened on this island Nation. If I’m not mistaken Abu Bakr also had close ties to the UNC. I remember a Karamath roti shop when I was growing up in T&T; any connection I wonder? You know its funny what regular T&T folks know, I remember visiting T&T during the time of the kidnapping of one of the owners of Jenny’s Wok. The place on Cipriani Boulevard was blanketed by the Po-Po, however if you asked the residents of the neighbourhood they’d all tell you that the family “Danced with the Devil on a Pale Moon night,” and the kidnapping was just the Devil’s way of emphasizing who was really in charge. It is also a well known fact that ever since the U.S. invaded Panama the South American Drug Cartels have been using T&T as the jumping off point for delivery of their drugs to Western Europe and North America.

  4. Tribal my aunt fanny. Abu Bakr and Hafeez are both Muslims.I am of the Christian tribe. Why are you appointing yourself their defense counsel, do YOU have something to hide? I was one of the first more than twenty years ago, to say that our late CoP Burroughs was corrupt. He was the brother-in-law of Dole Chadee and tippd him off before raids. I heard it from what I call taxi-talk. Somebody always knows, and talks. Were you born yet, child?That was 24 yars ago. Corruption grows like ameba, so its worse now. Somebody had a vested interest in keeping Abu BAkr in the forefront of the public’s hate while others ran off with our national patrimiony.i want to know who that somebody was, and who the others are. manning was NOT in power when Abu did his thing. They had 3 seats. Ancient history to you, but relevant stuff to others. Go sit in the corner.

  5. Taken from the Guardian June 20, 2010:

    “Since Hart was forced out of office on March 5 he fled the country in the company of his wife Sherrine and daughter Ling Lee Singh, days after submitting his resignation. His two sons Chase and Ross remained at the mansion with the maid and caretakers. His resignation came days after documents allegedly linked his Malaysian-born wife and a company, which was awarded an $820 million contract by the Udecott board. He also stepped down from four State boards – the National Insurance Board, T&T Mortgage Finance Company, The National Insurance Property Development Ltd and the Home Mortgage Bank. The UFF Report stated that Hart was wielding more power than some politicians.”


    Read carefully the final sentence.

  6. Meanwhile in another Drug War:

    Mexican Police Help Murder Their Own Mayor

    By IOAN GRILLO / MEXICO CITY Ioan Grillo / Mexico City – Sat Aug 21, 4:30 am ET

    The murder scarred a part of Mexico that was supposed to be reasonably safe from violence and crime. Santiago is a picturesque town of waterfalls, colonial churches and holiday homes for the rich. Its mayor Edelmiro Cavazos was a blue-eyed 38-year old, educated in the United States. But it seems that no corner of the country is shielded from the relentless rain of drug-related bloodshed.

    The killers came for Mayor Cavazos in the early hours of Aug. 16 when seven SUV’s rolled up and men in police uniforms descended on his palatial home. Servants stood back terrified, as their boss was forced away at gunpoint. On Aug. 18, his corpse was dumped on a nearby road. There was a mercy of sorts in the manner of his killing – shot dead with two bullets in the head and one in the chest, and spared the mutilation and rape inflicted on so many other victims. The following day, hundreds of residents wept over his coffin in Santiago’s central plaza, lining the stairs up to the church with candles and holding signs calling for peace. (See pictures of Culiac[a {a}]n, the home of Mexico’s drug-trafficking industry.)

    Then on Aug. 20, more disturbing news broke. State agents arrested six of the mayor’s own police officers and said they confessed to involvement in the murder. The suspects had been working for a drug cartel that is fighting a bloody turf war with its rival throughout northeast Mexico, state prosecutors said. Another four alleged gunmen were arrested with automatic rifles and grenade launchers in their possession and accused of being involved in the plot. The revelation had very concerning implications: in Mexico’s drug war, officials are now killing officials.

    Cavazos – a member of President Felipe Calderon’s conservative National Action Party – was the latest in a series of politicians who have been killed or kidnapped this year. In June, a commando group of gunmen assassinated the front-running gubernatorial candidate in the neighboring state of Tamaulipas. In May, a former presidential candidate was kidnapped from his ranch in Central Mexico and is still missing. A mayoral candidate and state legislator have also been murdered. Following the latest slaying, President Calderon said that Mexico’s very democracy is under threat. “The death of Edelmiro, makes us angry and obliges us to double our efforts in the struggle against these criminal cowards that attack citizens,” he said.

    But despite calls for national unity to face this challenge, Mexico’s politicians keep slinging mud and trading mutual recriminations over who is to blame. Opposition deputies say that Calderon’s policy of sending the entire army after cartels has been catastrophic, inflaming turf wars and shoot-outs. Since Calderon took office in December 2006, there have been an incredible 28,000 drug-related killings, it was recently revealed. Calderon has answered back, challenging the opposition to come up with a better idea. (See pictures of Mexico’s drug wars.)

    When the president called for a dialog with Congress this week to work out a national security plan, key leaders in two major parties snubbed him and said they had other engagements. An irritated Calderon then said that soldiers would stay on the streets until his last day in office in 2012. Politicians could not even manage to unify over the latest tragedy. As National Action Party militants prepared posters lamenting the death of Mayor Cavazos, the opposition accused them of political opportunism. (See pictures of Mexico City’s police fighting crime.)

    With Mexico’s justice system failing to clear up the facts surrounding the the vast majority of killings, it is unclear exactly why politicians are being targeted. Federal agents say that gangsters are desperate after so many drug busts and arrests and are lashing back at the system in the hope the army will be sent back to the barracks. However, the government has also conceded there are cases of corruption with elected officials themselves in cahoots with drug gangs. In May, police arrested former Cancun mayor and gubernatorial candidate Greg Sanchez on racketeering and drug smuggling charges. On Aug. 19, gunmen attacked the judge in charge of Sanchez’s case, killing his bodyguard. Calderon responded that Mexico should consider judges with protected identities to handle drug-related cases. Officials have also come under fire for attacking corrupt officers. Following an attack on the Public Safety Secretary of Michoacan this year, an arrested cartel member said she has been targeted for trying to shake up the state police force, threatening officers on their payroll.

    There are fears that that many more officials could be in danger. Sen. Ramon Galindo, the former mayor of murder capital Ciudad Juarez, said he knew of dozens of mayors who had received threats. “It is clear that organized crime groups are not only threatening but are also doing great harm to local politicians,” Galindo said. Back in Santiago, the fallen mayor’s mother Rubinia Leal de Cavazos told reporters that her son had feared attacks. “I told him to watch out for traitors and to leave his job,” she said, shielding her tearful eyes with sunglasses. “He never said he was scared. I hugged him and told him I loved him.”


  7. Let me make it clear from the outset that I did not appoint myself the defense counsel of the late Karamath. Aa a matter of fact, I am delighted that people involved in this kind of criminal activity are being held to account.I also do not understand why Abu Bakr is being drawn into this discussion. He has his own problems, most of which are related to criminal activities.I am also fully aware that the late Karamath was a UNC financier.It is what they do, these financiers. They buy whichever government is in power. Manning is yet to answer Abu’s charges of election “fixing” on behalf the PNM to repay his debts. To suggest that “someone” had a vested interest in keeping Abu BAkr in the forefront of the public’s hate while others ran off with our national patrimiony”, is not only absurd, but seriously far-fetched.
    I strongly suggest that Ms.Edwards stick to writing fiction because my sources tell me that she is not bad.In her spare time she could put on a superwoman suit and fight off all the crime suspects on her list in T&T.In the meantime. let the PP and the AG do their work on behalf of the people of T&T who gave them a resounding mandate against PNM corruption, craft and theft.

  8. Abu Bakr got into it because the newly elected government decided to rake up all the ashes from twenty years ago, and make him and his family center stage again, while back-burnering the issue of extradition for Ish and Steve, knowing that that would call attention to Panday an Carlos John, and other UNC crooks.They are feeding off the hate fueled by memories of 20 years ago.Prosecuting/persecuting him is a somekescreen.Make him the “it” and distract form others. KArma is a bitch my son says.The police went to look for one set of evidence, an dlook what they find.All the dots are connected. There are some who willnot see this bacuse of “party loyalty”. my party is callded trinidad ad Tobago.

    When I write certain things, I am directing particular indiiduals to check into things. You, TMAn will never quite understand. Being independent of needing a job from either party, inr out of power, and being long past the need to be friends with “the right folks”,I call the shots as I see them. I will not notice if I am not invited to so and so’s big bash.

    1. You are on the mark Ms. Edwards! However, Abu is in bed with the PP. Abu went on national radio to boast about his close connection to the government. On top of that he had an audience with the Minister of Everything, Jack Warner, right before the auction and one of his wives is the cousin of our esteemed AG….is it any wonder the auction was a bust and Abu was about to buy back the properties he wanted??

  9. Karamath, wife spend night in jail
    KHALIL KARAMATH, the 22-year-old son of deceased millionaire businessman/contractor Hafeez Karamath, together with his wife Sabeera Mohammed, 23, spent last night in a prisoner’s cell after they were yesterday refused bail by a Port-of-Spain magistrate before whom they appeared on charges of possession of arms, ammunition, marijuana and illicit devices.

    Son, wife denied bail
    THE son of deceased businessman Hafeez Karamath, Khalil, and his wife, Sabeera Mohammed, were denied bail when they appeared before a Port of Spain magistrate charged with possession of arms and ammunition yesterday.

    DOMA worried by military type of weapons found
    PRESIDENT of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA), Gregory Aboud, says the alleged find of arms and ammunition at the home of former construction mogul Hafeez Karamath in Valsayn had raised “great” concerns within the business community.

    1. DOMA should not be “worried” now. They have been fully supportive of the PNM over the past few years. They KNEW, what was going down.

  10. I Wonder if they will find that in laventille. People forget crime is everywhere in Trinidad but only laventille makes the news, Well Well i wonder what Valsaynians would say now, Maybe they might move to laventille at least they’ll have a view to see when Five o coming.

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