Trinidad Express editorial writer: I’m so bad-arse that despite criticism from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Chinese embassy, Sinopharm Beijing and thousands of readers over a ‘scientific experiment’ so weak that any five-year-old familiar with the works of Dr Heinz Doofenshmirtz would roll their eyes, I just wrote that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is crossing the line for suggesting anyone be held accountable! Hah!
Trinidad Guardian columnist Ryan Hadeed: Hold my beer…
There has been no shortage of bizarre news in Trinidad and Tobago these days.
Last weekend, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley entrusting the legal complexities and diplomatic haggling of his vaccination roll-out—literally a matter of life or death—to the same attorney general who couldn’t figure out how to legislate for an acting police commissioner, or what constituted an unlawful gathering on Christian Chandler’s yacht.
However, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida will take some beating after charging Hadeed, yesterday, for using the US post office to ‘solicit, plan, and pay for the murder of his former girlfriend’s new love interest’.
Hadeed was arrested on 22 December 2021 with one count of using interstate commerce facilities, the US mail system, in the commission of murder for hire. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a US$250,000 fine.
US investigators claim that Hadeed, 43, sent a request to an intended hitman that read: ‘I need someone eliminated. I’ve been told you can arrange that. $10,000 all in cash and upfront. Person located in Tampa.’
Hadeed, according to the prosecution, sent US$10,000 in cash along with ‘a description and pictures of the man that Hadeed wanted killed, the victim’s home address and likely travel schedule, as well as a deadline for the murder’ on 10 November.
In fact, the presumed ‘assassin’ that Hadeed allegedly tried to hire was a former employee of Florida Department of Law Enforcement. And, according to investigators, they immediately set up a sting operation.
Mr Live Wire was blown away too. You mean you can put US$10,000 in an envelope at the US Post Office and have it reach the intended recipient?!
If Hadeed had tried what he is accused of in Trinidad, all now he home sipping on Punch de Creme, watching the Lifetime channel while a lucky mailman planning a Christmas brunch at the Hyatt with his family! But I digress.
US investigators are claiming that in between lecturing Nikki Minaj on ‘misinformation’ (21 September), throwing shade on the ‘treasonous’ late Yasin Abu Bakr (25 October), advocating for controversial former police commissioner Gary Griffith to run his own political party (2 November), Hadeed was plotting a murder.
Nah man. If that were true, Trinidad and Tobago’s best chance at balancing the books ent oil prices or renewable energy—it would be exporting hypocrisy!
‘Thanks to Miss Minaj, born Onika Maraj, Trinidad and Tobago is—ONCE AGAIN—famous for all the wrong reasons,’ wrote Hadeed.
Mr Live Wire thinks Mr Man should have been listening to Blaxx’s ‘Gyul Owner’ on repeat, not studying Nikki’s Twitter page.
The bizarre case allegedly began on 29 September when a gun store owner told police he received a letter from an ‘Alan Smithee’.
‘I need someone eliminated. I’ve been told you can arrange that,’ started the letter—clearly written by a gentleman with no appreciation for foreplay.
A day earlier, Hadeed lectured Trinidad and Tobago on its failure to address crime and corruption: ‘Crime doesn’t just exist in T&T—it thrives…’
US investigators have reason to believe that Hadeed knows more about the subject than he let on.
Next, the Trinbagonian allegedly set up a meeting with his wanna-be hitman for 11 October at a coffee shop in Coral Springs. Lawmen saw ‘a grey Honda Accord drive through the parking lot; the license plate number was registered to Hadeed, and he was the car’s only insured driver’.
He would have just finished his Guardian column for the next day, which chided young Trinidad and Tobago women for posting ‘provocative bum-accentuating poses […] for the adulation of their fans’.
Mr Live Wire certainly would not recommend that Hadeed take any ‘provocative bum-accentuating poses’ in the near future.
Four days later, the gun store owner received another letter from ‘Smithee’ which asked him to ‘hang a piece of paper marked with an X on his door for a week starting 20 October’. Coral Springs Police, according to court documents, saw the same grey Honda Accord with the same license plate number pass by the store twice in the following days.
Hadeed’s next column, published on 26 October, was titled ‘The evil that men do lives on’ and noted that ‘for Abu Bakr, no amount of propaganda will erase from history the evil he visited on our country’.
The time might be close at hand when Hadeed needs some compassion himself.
Just over two weeks later, investigators say he sent the final correspondence to his presumed killer-for-hire with the words: ‘The day and time is up to you. You have the money so your [sic] holding all the cards. Will know when the subject is taken out. Need to be done before the end of 2021.’
He then boarded a flight to Trinidad and Tobago, only to be apprehended upon his return on Wednesday. The ‘Yanks’ opted not to count on Trinidad and Tobago’s extradition process and waited it out instead.
Why so cynical, Uncle Sam?
Mr Live Wire cannot confirm that Jack Warner and Ish Galbaransingh are already penning letters to Hadeed: ‘How it going hoss? What’s the menu like? Do you get a night light?’
In what is now likely to be Hadeed’s last column for the foreseeable future, ‘Making the sense of the SOE’, Hadeed criticised the Government on 23 November for ‘restrictions that are both extreme and illogical’.
Hadeed’s ex-girlfriend told police that Hadeed ‘had an unhealthy obsession with her and had threatened to harm her when they were in a relationship’. Thankfully, if the police case has any merit, she and her new boyfriend were being stalked by the sort of mastermind who would try to order a roti at KFC.
‘Hadeed instructed the intended hitman to signal acceptance of the offer by posting marked sheets of paper on his store-front window, among other things,’ stated investigators.
Might as well have asked the man to post ‘mission accomplished’ with a ‘thumbs up’ on his Facebook wall!
The good news is prison can be a great place to banish memories of unrequited love. The bad news is the #metoo movement is not believed to have made much impact on inmate behaviour
The words ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ may never hold the same meaning again.
Editor’s Note: Initial story updated with more information from the United States Attorney’s Office.