Fri, Aug 24, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Machetes found at murder scene

DISMEMBERMENT:Police said that the alleged perpetrators likely threw the head and limbs into the river expecting them to drift away and delay the investigation

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Police are looking for at least two people in connection with the murder and dismemberment of Canadian Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan after recovering two machetes yesterday from the crime scene in New Taipei City.

Ramgahan’s headless and dismembered body was found in a riverside park in Yonghe District (永和) on Wednesday, while a head and limbs were recovered on sand bars on the Yonghe side of the Sindian River (新店溪).

Police said that they made progress in the case, finding the two machetes — which had traces of blood on them — as well as sunglasses, a mobile phone, a dog leash, shoes and other items suspected to belong to Ramgahan.

“The items were found within 15m of the body, but as we cannot yet identify them as belonging to the victim, they are being held for forensic examination,” Yonghe Police Precinct criminal investigation deputy chief Weng Chi-yuan (翁啟元) said.

Police said they were to contact Ramgahan’s family in Canada for postmortem arrangements and to conduct DNA tests.

There is a bicycle path to the waterfront park, where there are concrete terraces that can be used to access the sand bars and mud flats, police said.

“Traces of blood were found on the terrace stairs, so we suspect this was where the perpetrators used the machetes to dismember the victim’s body,” Weng said.

The perpetrators likely chopped off the victim’s head and limbs, put them in plastic bags and threw them into the river at about 6pm on Wednesday, at which time the high-tide water level was at the bottom of the stairs, police said.

“The perpetrators probably threw the bags from the stairs into the river thinking the high water would carry them downstream,” police said.

“However, this did not happen and when the tide receded, the bags and other items were on the sand bars and mud flats nearby,” they said.

“Given the evidence, the killing was most likely carried out by people who knew the victim,” police said.

“The victim’s hands and feet were chopped off, which the perpetrators probably discarded first, thinking they would drift away with the river and delay identification of the body,” a police official said. “This might have been to delay the investigation efforts as they sought to flee and eliminate other evidence.”

Ramgahan made cash withdrawals of about NT$100,000 each on Monday and Tuesday, police said.

The killing was possibly due to a financial dispute over drug transactions and members of organized crime might be involved, police said, citing the evidence and police records allegedly linking Ramgahanto illegal drugs.

News reports said police made arrests at a Taipei nightclub last year in which an American was found to be in possession of narcotics.

The man identified Ramgahan as the dealer, which led to raids at the Canadian’s residence, where 103 pouches of cannabis were allegedly seized, the reports said.

He was awaiting trial on drugs-related charges. He allegedly tried to cheat on a urinalysis test, but police caught him trying to switch his urine with water, reports said.

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