Close friend had Indian American couple murdered

March 17th, 2008 - 11:53 pm ICT by admin  

New York, March 17 (IANS) Four people have been arrested in connection with the double murder of an Indian-American couple in Michigan last week. Their long-time friend and associate, whom they had accused of siphoning off money, allegedly ordered the contract killing. Brij Mohan Chhabra, 65, and his wife, Aasha, 56, were found dead on Tuesday at their home in Troy, a Detroit suburb. Both were shot in the head at close range.

Among those arrested is Narayan Thadani, hired by the couple to manage their assets in India. Aasha had filed a lawsuit against Thadani in 2006 for siphoning off their valuable property and possibly millions of dollars.

Thadani and his associate, Douglas Tabor, were taken into custody from the Houston area by the FBI late Friday on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, said a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office in Detroit, the Detroit Free Press has reported. They will be extradited to Detroit which may take many days.

The alleged hired killers, Miguel Angel Servando, 40, and Nelson Mendoza, 34, were arraigned last Friday in a Troy court on first-degree murder charges. Prosecutors claim the two were promised $100,000 to kill the couple. Both men originally are from El Salvador. Mendoza is a legal immigrant.

Family members said Aasha had entrusted Thadani with the sale of property and transferring funds from India to the US after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998.

Brij Chhabra taught yoga at a temple for years. He was an engineer by profession and worked as a computer consultant, friend Don Handyside said. The couple, who lived in Troy for more than 20 years, have a daughter who recently graduated from the University of Michigan.

Handyside said Brij “was a very upstanding, spiritual man… I can’t see why anyone would do this.”

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