The murder of award-winning playwright, producer and actor Raymond Choo Kong does not add up.
This view was shared yesterday by National Security Minister Stuart Young following the opening of the Barataria Community Library on Tuesday.
On Monday, Choo Kong’s was discovered by one of his adopted sons covered in blood while seated in a chair in the living room of his Green Street, Arima, home.
Choo Kong, 69, was stabbed multiple times to the upper part of his body by his assailant. An autopsy on Tuesday revealed that he was stabbed eight times to the chest and had defensive wounds to the hands and forearms.
Investigators believed that Choo Kong was a victim of a robbery, as his wallet, a gold ring and cellphone were stolen by his attacker who made good his escape. They are also looking at other possible theories but have no clear motive as yet.
Police believe that it may also be a crime of passion and investigating officers also received information that Choo Kong was a victim of robbery one week ago and it was possible that there was a link to that incident.
The third theory is that Choo Kong was killed during a home invasion gone awry, however, police said there wasn’t enough supporting evidence which suggests that it was a random robbery.
Pressed by Guardian Media about Choo Kong’s murder, Young described it as a tragedy.
“With Mr Choo Kong I am still waiting on a report....certainly the information that has been coming to me, I mean, some of us we didn’t sleep last night. We just kept exchanging...I was there messaging the heads of security as to ideas and initiatives...how are they progressing with their investigation into this particular tragic death.”
Young said one of the things that struck him there was no forced entry into Choo Kong’s home.
“Also where we found the body.”
He said the vast majority of criminals use illegal firearms to rob people as opposed to knives.
“This was a stabbing death...so these are the things that do not add up and don’t seem to suggest that it is a normal robbery type situation.”
He said once the police conclude their investigation, more will be revealed.
Young extended condolences to Choo Kong’s grieving family and friends, stating that he had attended many of his plays which he enjoyed.
“He was a fabulous artiste. Also, he touched many lives.”
Young said it was upsetting to hear the number of murders that had occurred from Sunday into Monday which were all “unconnected” with illegal firearms being the weapon of choice by criminals.
He said the spike of nine murders in less than 24 hours was “unacceptable” as it has now become to norm for criminals to behave bold and brazen.
“I am just saying to be cautious. I am not saying that we don’t have issues with crime. Unfortunately, societies around the world have deteriorated when it comes to crime over the past decade. We know what the issue is here. It is illegal firearms. There is a lot more prevalence of illegal firearms that is why we are tackling it.”
He appealed to citizens to put pressure on “politicians” to get support for the amendments in the Firearms Bill, which would serve as a deterrent to gun-toting criminals who can face life in prison on their third gun offence.
“That is going to make people stop in their tracks.”
Questioned if the TTPS’ recent crime-fighting initiative should fail what would be the Government’s next step, Young said when “pressure is applied” on the criminal elements “you see the drop...and you see the decrease. As soon as that eases up you have these sporadic spurts. So what I have asked is that we find a way to maintain it...sustainability. And we have certain things in place.”
Soon, Young said there would be changes in the TTPS to better utilise its resources which would bring additional result.
A suggestion to impose a state of emergency in hot spot areas, Young said this was not an option.
“The Government is not looking at a state of emergency. It is also a fallacy that you can call a limited state of emergencies in certain areas. You call a state of emergency is country-wide and then you can put appropriate resources...absolutely not.”
Young gave the assurance that his ministry and the TTPS will go all out to bring the crime wave down.