Family 'was murdered to seize control of business'

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The Independent Online

A businessman and his family were murdered by three men in a scam aimed at seizing control of the victim's company, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

A businessman and his family were murdered by three men in a scam aimed at seizing control of the victim's company, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

Amarjit Chohan, his wife, Nancy, their two sons and Mrs Chohan's mother, Charanjit Kaur, "disappeared" and were later murdered, said Richard Horwell, for the prosecution.

Kenneth Regan, described as "something of a fantasist", planned to make people think Mr Chohan, from Hounslow, west London, had given up his business and gone abroad voluntarily, said Mr Horwell.

He intended to run the freight company himself, using it as a front for the importation of drugs, it was alleged.

Mr Horwell told the court: "Some crimes are beyond belief and on any view these horrific murders fall into that category. Three generations of a family were executed - deliberately killed because of the greed of these defendants."

Chohan, 46, Nancy, 25, their two young sons, Devinder, 18 months, and Ravinder, two months, and Mrs Kaur, 51, vanished in February last year.

Mr Regan, 55, of Wilton, Wiltshire, William Horncy, 52, of Bournemouth, Dorset, and Peter Rees, 39, of Rowlands Castle, Hampshire, deny the murdering the five.

Mr Horwell said Chohan had been lured to Stonehenge by Mr Regan, who arranged a meeting in a car park. He said: "In fact, Mr Chohan walked into a trap. Thereafter, Chohan was used and controlled by the defendants. He was held against his will for several days before being murdered.

"To make Mr Chohan's disappearance appear genuine, it was or became necessary for his family also to be murdered."

Chohan, known as Anil, ran his CIBA Freight business importing and exporting fruit from Southall, west London. According to Mr Horwell, Mr Regan "became desperate for money and desperate to control the company and assets of the man he murdered".

Mr Horwell added: "While Anil Chohan was interested in selling the business, Regan did not have the money to buy it. So Regan decided to steal it.

"Regan decided that he would make it look as if Mr Chohan had fallen out with some of his business associates and that he had gone abroad to avoid them." Mr Horwell alleged that Regan recruited Horncy and Rees to help him in his plan to steal the company.

The day after the disappearances, Regan turned up at CIBA's offices with a Power of Attorney in respect of the company's affairs, alleged the prosecution. "From that day, Regan helped to run the business."

Mr Horwell alleged that within a few days, the three defendants had buried the family's bodies in the grounds of a house in Tiverton, Devon, owned by a woman friend of Regan's.

Police became less and less satisfied with what they were told by Regan and Horncy about their dealings with Mr Chohan and launched a search.

Mr Chohan's body was found floating in the water not far from Bournemouth pier two days after Easter Sunday.

Mr Horwell said that Regan and Horncy fled the country to Spain. Rees was arrested not long afterwards. In July, a fisherman found Nancy's body in an area between the Dorset coast and the Isle of Wight. The following month Regan was arrested in Belgium.

Horncy surrendered to police at Dover in September. Two months later, the body of Mrs Kaur was washed up on a beach on the Isle of Wight. The bodies of the two boys have never been found.

The trial continues.