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Darryl Heeralal

Saturday, May 6th 2006

David Millard aka Buffy

WANTED Jamaat-al-Muslimeen lieutenant David Millard aka Buffy has been arrested in Guyana and questioned in connection with the murders of a government minister and his relatives.

Millard, also called Mustapha Abdullah Muhammad, was arrested by a joint Guyanese police and army team working with the United States FBI on Tuesday.

Millard, who was given a Cabinet-appointed post at the National Housing Authority, fled Trinidad in late 2003.

Arrest warrants for the murder of Jillia Bowen in June 2003 and the attempted murder of Salim Rasheed and Adel Ghany outside MovieTowne have been issued for Millard and he is also jointly charged with Imam Yasin Abu Bakr on charges conspiracy to murder Rasheed and Zaki Abudiah.

Millard was held at a house on Lot 111 Collingswood in the upscale Nandy Park on the East Coast of the Demerara River in the Georgetown suburbs.

He was held with five others including another Trinidadian identified as Joseph Aboud and four Guyanese, two women and two men.

When Millard was arrested he told Guyanese investigators that his name was Edmund De Frietas.

Based on information Guyanese police sent his fingerprints to Trinidad authorities who confirmed that he was in fact Millard.

Local high level police yesterday confirmed that they had been contacted by the Guyanese authorities.

Senior local police sources said they were informed by their Guyanese counterparts that Millard was being questioned in connection with the April 22 murders of Agriculture Minister Satyadeo Sawh, 50, his brother, sister and bodyguard at their East Coast residence.

Sawh's wife escaped the gunmen.

In addition Millard was also held for overstaying his time in Guyana, sources said.

Guyanese intelligence say they believe Millard is involved with a group of contract killers.

Millard was held during a "joint services" raid for the missing arms cache from the Guyana Defence Force.

A total of 30 AK-47s, five pistols and grenades were stolen from Camp Ayanganna headquarters of the Guyana Defence Force in Georgetown in March.

A computer, several cellphones, a 9 mm pistol and what was believed to be wire tapping devices were seized from the house.

When he was arrested Millard told Guyanese investigators that he was an American citizen and had served in the US Army.

The Saturday Express was told that Millard did in fact serve in the US Army but was deported from that country and is a Trinidadian citizen.

Millard has reportedly hired attorneys to block his extradition.

On his arrest Millard told investigators that he was the bodyguard of a businessman, whom the Guyanese authorities suspect is involved in the drug trade.

The businessman is also believed to be part of a group called the "phantom killers" who carry out "mercenary type contract killings" and are on a payroll.

Millard was a close associate of Bakr and was on the Jamaat's executive. He was also an ally of slain gang leader Mark Guerra.

In 2002 Millard was appointed programme coordinator of the NHA refurbishing project replacing former PNM senator Muhammad Shabaaz who was fired from the post to accommodate Millard's hiring which had been reported by the Saturday Express.

Local law enforcement say once the Guyanese authorities "are through" with Millard he will be brought to Trinidad and charged in connection with the matter for which he is wanted.