NEW ZEALAND police investigations have revealed that tens of thousands of dollars were withdrawn from the bank account of Fiji-born homicide victim Shalvin Prasad the day before he was found burnt to death.
Police believe the money withdrawn from his bank account is somehow connected to his disappearance and death.
Shalvin's body was discovered in a small scrub fire on the side of McRobbie Road in Kingseat, Auckland, on Thursday last week.
The day before his alleged brutal death Shalvin, originally from Suva, had been at soccer practice. He returned home but left again at about 8.30pm, telling his family he was going to play pool in South Auckland.
While he was in South Auckland, he sent a text message about 9.30pm saying he would be home by 10.30pm.
When he did not return by 2am, the family called the police.
In a statement issued to The Fiji Times yesterday, district manager criminal investigations of Counties-Manukau Police Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said Shalvin withdrew the money from his bank account on Wednesday last week, about eight hours prior to him going missing.
Detective Inspector Lynch said police would not disclose the exact amount that was withdrawn.
He withdrew the money over the counter from a teller at the ASB in Ronwood Ave.
"People may well speculate as to how a 21-year-old came to have a large sum of money but at this stage of the investigation police emphasise that there was no indication that Shalvin was involved in an illegal activity," he said.
Detective Inspector Lynch said Shalvin's family had advised the police that he was a hard worker and a diligent saver and checks of his banking history confirmed that his money was gradually saved over a long period.
"Police have not located any of his money. We are aware that the money was broken out of a term investment which suggested to us that there was some recent event or activity that motivated Shalvin to withdraw this money without the knowledge of his family," he said.
Detective Inspector Lynch said police investigations would now focus on anyone who had knowledge of the fact that Shalvin had a large sum of money and believe that identifying such persons would assist in the investigation.
"Police appeal to anyone who has any knowledge of why Shalvin would withdraw this money to contact the investigation team."
Police also started interviewing Shalvin's family yesterday and will progress to interview his friends and associates in coming days.
"Police are still focusing attention on the Plunkett Ave area of Papatoetoe where Shalvin's vehicle was located to determine exactly when his vehicle was parked there," Detective Inspector Lynch said.
"At this stage we have conclusive proof via CCTV that it was there on Saturday afternoon at 4pm."
He said police believed the vehicle was there for some time prior to that but are at this stage relying on conflicting witness accounts and are keen to view any CCTV footage of the area.
"Police are also yet to identify the blue, silver and white vehicles seen leaving the McRobbie Road area the morning Shalvin's body was located," Detective Inspector Lynch said.
Shalvin was laid to rest on Monday after Hindu rites.
Relatives and close friends have been in close contact with the family to offer support.