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Tenant stabs man to death over eviction

By Vashtee Achibar Friday, June 27 2014

click on pic to zoom in
Brother consoles: Rasheed Karim consoles his sister-in-law Eileen Azim at her home in Felicity yesterday, following the murder of her husband Barnett ...
Brother consoles: Rasheed Karim consoles his sister-in-law Eileen Azim at her home in Felicity yesterday, following the murder of her husband Barnett ...

A tenant stabbed his landlord’s brother to death when he went to evict him from an apartment in Felicity, Chaguanas on Wednesday night.

Barnett Azim, 59, was fatally attacked at 182 Cacandee Road, Felicity where the tenant and his wife had rented an apartment from his brother Rasheed Karim, a Muslim imam.

Karim said Azim’s murder “was a severe blow to his family”. Azim, a father of three and a grandfather of eight, lived at Old Trainline, Azim Avenue, off Cacandee Road, not too far from where the apartment is located.

Karim said his brother’s killing was linked to what he described as the “migration of criminal elements” to Central.

“What happens is that they send a woman, usually with children, to rent an apartment and some time after a male occupant with a criminal background would move in and use the location as a base to spy on residents and rob them. Felicity used to be so peaceful,” Karim lamented.

Karim, a community activist and president of the Central Pluck Shop Owners Association who also, as an ASJA imam, works in the prisons, renewed his call for a police post in Felicity.

He said he tries to be careful when renting his apartments because of the “infiltration of criminal elements”, adding, “we try to screen people but we also try to assist people and our rent is low.”

Karim said Azim, a retired attendant at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, carried out financial transactions on his behalf and on Wednesday night he had gone to the apartment to get the tenant to move out.

He explained the man’s wife was the one who rented the apartment about 14 months ago and some time after he moved in.

Karim said he had cause to warn the tenant, said to be in his 30s, on several occasions about his violent behaviour. He said the man drank alcohol heavily and beat his wife. As the man’s behaviour worsened, Karim said he asked him to leave but he refused.

Then, two weeks ago, the tenant’s wife left him and took the keys to the apartment.

Karim said the man broke into the apartment and, on Wednesday, Azim went to evict him when an argument escalated into a scuffle and the man dealt his brother multiple stabs. Azim was taken to the Chaguanas Health Facility wherehe died.

According to police reports, the incident occurred at about 10.10 pm. Acting Insp Jackman along with Acting Cpl Hope-Awong and PC Sampson of the Chaguanas CID, Crime Scene Investigators as well as Acting Sgt Cuffie and Acting Cpl Johnson of the Homicide Bureau went to the murder scene.

A grieving Karim described his brother as the family patriarch. He said whenever any relative needed advice, he was the one they would turn to. Karim said his brother was looking forward to starting the fast for Ramadan in the mosque on Sunday.

“His intention was to fast for the month of Ramadan. I know that God will reward him for his good intentions,” he said.

A post mortem performed by pathologist Dr Eastlyn Mc Donald-Burris at the Forensic Science Centre , St James yesterday revealed Azim died from multiple stab wounds. He was laid to rest yesterday afternoon at St Thomas Muslim Cemetery in Chaguanas.

Central Division police say several checks were made for the suspect but he remains on the run.

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