Randy Narine still remembers vividly the text message he received from his cousin in Trinidad the morning of Dec. 1, asking him to call.
His mother and father were on vacation there. They were celebrating their 39th wedding anniversary and were due to return to their Brampton, Ont., home the following day.
“By the time I got to my car, I was on my knees in the parking lot and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” Randy recalled.
Fifty-six-year-old Vishnu Narine’s body had been discovered near a pond in Ste. Madeleine earlier that morning.
His death is now the subject of an active police investigation in Trinidad and Tobago.
“You know, it’s one thing if a parent dies of an illness. You know what took their life. But when they’re murdered, there’s question marks all over the place.”
Randy tells Global News his father had been shot twice in the head.
The Canadian man and his wife were staying with family on the Caribbean island. He left early the evening of Thursday, Nov. 30.
According to his family, he was carrying $1,800 Canadian cash at the time. They speculate he was meeting with someone to purchase birds for a side business he began in his retirement.
“It wasn’t something where he had planned to stay out late because he had made other arrangements with family members to come home and see them,” explained his son.
“My dad’s not the type of person to make plans if he’s not going to follow through with them.”
The money Vishnu was carrying has never been recovered. His son tells Global News, they met with the investigator assigned to his case the following Monday.
“There really wasn’t much she told us at the time, except that it was on her desk when she returned to work Monday,” he said.
We reached out to Trinidadian police and received this email response to our initial inquiry:
“It is not the practice for the police to grant media interviews on matters concerning active investigations.”
We followed up again and were told via email:
“When there is information that can be shared that will not jeopardize the investigation it shall be made available. We are not now in such a position. However, we give the assurance this investigation is an active one.”
Global Affairs spokesperson Brianne Maxwell tells us via email:
“Canadian officials are in close contact with local authorities to gather additional information and are providing consular assistance to the family.”
She continues: “According to our consular mandate, the Canadian Embassy in Port of Spain can assist in obtaining information from the local authorities regarding the progress of the investigation, arrest and judicial proceedings. This official information can then be retransmitted to the family members.”
Global Affairs went on to say that due to provisions of the Privacy Act, no further information would be disclosed.
“The ability of the Canadian government — all you can do is keep requesting the local authorities really be assiduous in their investigation and try to provide the family with as many answers as you possibly can — as quickly as you can,” said Gar Pardy, former director general of the Consular Affairs Bureau.
According to Pardy, there have been some instances where Canadian officials have sent forensic and police investigators to assist local authorities abroad. However, that is done at the request of the other country.
“We do not allow foreign police or forensic officials to come into Canada in similar circumstances and that is a rule that is enforced by all governments around the world,” he said.
For Canadians experiencing issues obtaining answers, Pardy recommends reaching out to the High Commission, who can act on their behalf with local officials.
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