The case of the missing bank employee… WHY DID IAM BLOCK THE POLICE?

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A press release issued by the Police Service on Friday is quite disturbing.
If the details in that release are true, Ishmael Ali, owner of IAM and Company, may have to answer some questions relating to the disappearance and discovery of the body of Shannon Banfield at IAM, Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain.
 
In the release, the Police Service  insisted it acted swiftly and followed strict protocol with respect to the investigation into the disappearance of Shannon Banfield. 
 
The Police said a request made to IAM and Company at Charlotte Street, Port of Spain, where the 20-year-old’s body was found on Thursday, to access closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage “was not readily forthcoming”.
Police said the request was made three times.
“Police investigators visited the business establishment over the course of the three days since Ms Banfield was reported missing by her mother, Ester Sherry-Anne Lopez, to the Santa Cruz Police Station, at 12.15 a.m. on Tuesday.
 
“All the other business establishments in the area where Ms Banfield was last known to have been, inclu­ding Pennywise, were approached for access to their CCTV footage, and this was immediately forthcoming,” the statement said.
The release said the Anti-Kidnapping Unit and the Criminal Investigations Department actively pursued the disappearance of Banfield as “they sought to have her safely return home”.
Photographs of Banfield were circula­ted early Tuesday morning and were later broadcast on outdoor billboard screens, released to the media and on social media.
 

“The investigation into Ms Banfield’s disappearance and her untimely and unfortunate death is being vigorously pursued by the Homicide Bureau of Investigations,” it added.

But Ishmael Ali said on Friday that he never denied the police access to CCTV footage at the Charlotte Street retail store. He said a manager merely asked (sic) the men to verify they were police officers and to call his son directly when they visited on Tuesday.
Ali said this was a request that the officers failed to follow as they left the store without searching the premises.

On Thursday, Banfield’s body was found on the third floor of the store.

 

He said officers asked to check the store’s cameras, but out of precaution, the supervisor at IAM asked the men to call Ali’s son directly and provide him with their identification, but the officers left and never called, Ali said, explaining the store’s camera security system is protected and only his son had access to its passwords.
 
Really Ali? So why didn’t Ali contact his own son and ask him to assist the police with the video footage? Did Ali have something to hide in that store? Why was there non-cooperation?
 
Ali maintained he co-operated with the police and was only contacted a second time on Thursday when Banfield’s body was found.
 
“Shortly after I got the news I start to call the police in Port-of-Spain and Senior Supt Boxhill came to my office to look at the monitors. They came around 1 pm and left after 7 pm. We did not deny them anything. I co-operate with the police all the time,” Ali said.
“We don’t be at that store at all, so it is only staff. They (the police) could have find out who I am and come and see me and I would have helped in any way I can.”
 
So is there a link with the death of another IAM employee, Shanese Samuel, who was murdered in January 2015?
Samuel, 19, went missing in January 2015, after she went searching for a job. A month later the body of an unidentified woman was found off Macqueripe Road, Chaguaramas, by a passing motorist.
The woman’s hands were bound and her body was so badly decomposed that police could not determine if there were marks of violence about the body.
An autopsy determined she was stabbed twice in the chest.
A friend, who asked not to be identified, said, “She worked IAM and was transferred to the Port of Spain location. I spoke to her in December 2014 and she was still working there. I recall she said she had a problem with a senior person at the branch. I don’t know if she was fired, but I know she was looking for a job. Then about a month later she went missing.”
Initial reports were that Samuel had become a victim of human trafficking. But police believe she was killed the same day she went missing.
The friend said, “She confided in a relative and told her everything that was happening. I can’t say if her death is linked to her job. We don’t know if someone was hired to kill her. All we know is that she had a mystery interview and she was killed.”
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