The decomposed bodies of two businessmen from Tamil Nadu — whose families said were murdered in the Fiji Islands last December — were found in two suitcases buried in a farmland in the capital of Suva early on Sunday.
The victims’ business manager and his accomplices have been arrested by the Fijian police. No case has been registered here.
The deceased — identified as Ramakrishnan Amirthalingam (41) of Alwarpet, Chennai, and his business partner Rajamanickam Venkatachalam (36) of Nagapattinam — were engaged in metal scraps export trade to India from Nabua in Fiji for the last two years.
Speaking to The Hindu in Chennai, Ganesh Rajan, the younger brother of Ramakrishnan, said the two men were missing from December 14, 2009. “We contacted my brother’s mobile phone, which was answered by his manager Ravi in Suva. He said Ramakrishnan and Rajamanickam had gone to the nearby Vista Islands on work and didn’t return,” Mr. Rajan said.
Suspecting a case of kidnap for ransom, Mr. Rajan urged the manager, Ravi Padayachi (26), a Fijian national, to lodge a police complaint. Padayachi, who was their manager for the last one year, was residing with the victims in a rented house on Mead Road in Nabua, Suva, Mr. Rajan said.
“Ravi lodged a police complaint and sent us a police report via e-mail. Meanwhile we spoke to some neighbours in Mead Road who told us that six men had come to the house before the two men went missing and returned after a day. They even informed us that Ravi started using his employers’ cars and clothes,” Ilango, Rajamanickam’s brother-in-law, said.
Growing suspicious of Padayachi, Ramakrishnan’s twin brother Lakshminarayanan went to Suva on December 25 to pursue the case.
“The Fijian police were indifferent right from the beginning, and we kept putting pressure on them through the Indian embassy there. Meanwhile this morning [Sunday], Fijian news channels reported that the decomposed bodies of Ramakrishnan and Rajamanickam were found buried in suitcases in a farmland far away from their house. The bodies were discovered by the farm owner while tilling the land two days ago,” said Baladhandayuthapani, Ramakrishnan’s uncle.
The Fijian police have arrested Padayachi and his accomplices Nadeem, Munab, Ajay and Mathew, Mr. Baladhandayuthapani added.
The remains of the two businessmen will be cremated in Suva and their ashes brought to India.