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3 charged for kidnapping, murder of Indian American aircraft mechanic

New York, Jan 3 (IANS) A federal grand jury in the US state of Florida has charged three people, including two Indian-origin men, for the kidnapping and murder of an airplane mechanic who went missing last month.

The body of Suren Seetal (36), who worked at Opa-locka Airport and Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, was found in Big Cypress National Preserve on November 21, 2023, the US Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida said in a recent release.

Avin “smalls” Seetaram (24), Somjeet Christopher “Lil Chris” Singh (29), and Gavin Hunter (18) from Broward County were charged with murder for hire conspiracy, murder for hire, kidnapping conspiracy, kidnapping, and obstruction of justice.

According to allegations contained in the previously filed criminal complaint, Seetal was last seen alive on November 2, 2023, when he was leaving work.

After leaving work, his telephone was in the vicinity of Dr HVAC, Singh’s air conditioning business, before going off network shortly thereafter.

The Miami-Dade resident was supposed to be running errands before heading out on a trip to Trinidad two days later, but when he never returned home, his family said on a GoFundMe page.

Authorities alleged in a criminal report that Singh owed Seetal approximately $315,000, and Seetal’s girlfriend told law enforcement that her partner was “trying to collect his debts”, the WPTV news channel reported.

Citing court documents, the news channel said that Seetal and Somjeet knew each other from working in the fireworks business.

The documents further claimed that the three suspects had been communicating until Seetal’s phone lost signal the night he disappeared.

It also alleged that Seetaram lured Seetal to Somjeet’s business, where Hunter was waiting with a firearm and shot Seetal.

While Seetaram and Hunter’s arraignment hearing have already concluded, Somjeet’s arraignment hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

If convicted of the charges contained in the federal indictment, Seetaram, Somjeet, and Hunter each face a mandatory sentence of life in prison or the death penalty.

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