Government must be willing to enlist outside help if local police are unable to handle an apparent target on Customs officials. These were the pronouncements of the United Progressive Party’s (UPP) political leader Harold Lovell.
The body of Customs officer Nigel Christian was discovered in the New Winthorpes area last night, hours after his family said he was kidnapped from his Mckinnons home by four armed men.
He was found along a dirt road with what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body.
Christian is not the first Customs officer to be targeted since news broke of a $3 million shortfall stemming from unpaid taxes from the port.
His colleague Cornell Benjamin – one of the chief officers attached to an enforcement unit investigating the missing money – was shot in both legs last October, three days after the announcement.
The police said then that there was no known motive behind the incident and that they would be investigating.
Lovell said nothing has come from that investigation and now a great Antiguan mind has lost his life.
Christian is believed to have initially been involved in the fraud probe, although not recently.
Comptroller of Customs Raju Badoo visited Christian’s family earlier today to convey his condolences.
Badoo told Observer media that he has reached out to the Commissioner of Police to ensure heightened security for his officers. All officers, he said, have been alerted.
Police and Customs are appealing to anyone with information that can further assist them in their investigations to contact the Criminal Investigations Department at 462-3913 or 462-3914.