2789353
Oswaldo Antonio

Six men including two Venezuelan nationals have been remanded into custody after appearing in court for murdering a Chinese businessman during a botched robbery, late last month.

Malik Jack, 21, of Morvant; Linton Williams, 24, of Laventille; Kenneth Dabreo, 27, of Belmont; Emmanuel Phillip, 28, of Morvant; and Venezuelan nationals Hudson “Hugo” Phillip and Oswaldo Marano, who reside in Morvant and Laventille, made their virtual hearing before Magistrate Indar Jagroo, yesterday morning.

The group was charged with murdering Ziangong Phang on August 23.

According to reports, the group is alleged to have broken into Happiness Supermarket, located at the corner of the Eastern Main Road and Sixth Avenue in Barataria, and attacked Phang and six of his relatives, who live upstairs the business.

“The intruders were armed with knives and cutlasses. During the invasion, several persons were chopped and wounded,” a release from the T&T Police Service on the group’s court appearance stated.

Phang and the other injured persons, including some of the accused men, were taken to Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope.

Phang died while receiving treatment, while the others with less life-threatening injuries were treated and discharged.

Some of the accused men were seen wearing bandages and casts on their hands and arms during the virtual hearing, which facilitated their simultaneous court appearances while they were being detained at different police stations in north Trinidad.

Guardian Media understands that two female suspects, who were allegedly arrested near to the scene, were released after their lawyer Alexia Romero sent a pre-action protocol letter to Police Commissioner Gary Griffith over their protracted detention without being charged.

During the hearing, attorney Kirk Hogan, who is representing Williams requested that prosecutors disclose the evidence against his client including any CCTV footage of the incident.

The request could not be immediately facilitated as police prosecutors explained that the complainant, who charged the group, could not join the video conferencing link due to technical difficulties.

The group is expected to reappear in court on September 29.

The investigation was led by Senior Supt Joseph Chandool. ASP Douglas, Insp Maharaj, and WPC Mohammed of the Region Two Homicide Bureau.