THE focus of the police investigation into the kidnapping and murder of judiciary clerk Andrea Bharatt has shifted from a crime of opportunity to whether she was deliberately targeted by an organised crime syndicate.
New information being investigated by the police indicates that Bharatt, 22, who worked at the Arima Magistrates' Court, had found out that a deed submitted for a suspect on serious criminal charges had already been used in another court, and alerted her superiors.
The development is the latest in the criminal investigation, in which one of Bharatt's co-workers is now assisting police with their probe.
Bharatt was abducted and killed. Her body was found on Thursday, dumped off a precipice at the Heights of Aripo.
Three men remain in custody, one of whom is in hospital in a critical condition, after he was injured during a confrontation with police last Sunday.
The Arima District Court, including its online services, was completely shut down on Friday. A statement from the Judiciary on Thursday said people with cases there will be informed of the adjourned dates.
Legal sources pointed to a significant bail racket in the magistrates' court involving court staff, police and bailors, where false deeds, or deeds already used in other cases, are being used as collateral.
Two lawyers admitted to significant sums being paid to court staff to record false entries to suggest that the deeds proposed are valid.
Bharatt's actions derailed the suspect's chances of getting bail and another deed had to be sourced. The suspect was eventually granted bail.
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith when contacted on Friday said he intends to launch an investigation into the new allegations to verify the information in the Newsday report.