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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Filipina Strangled, Burned to Death by Indian Borrowers in Kuwait

KUWAIT – Three Indian nationals were arrested in this city after being suspected of slaying a Filipina whom they owed money, strangling the victim to death before setting her body on fire, according to Kuwait police investigators.

Photo Credit: ABS-CBN News

The victim was identified as Estrella Cabacungan Gonzales, a Filipina who was engaged in lending business in Farwaniya , and whose body was burned beyond recognition on February 11 by suspects who owed her KD 1,200 (P186,000) to avoid paying their debt.

Gonzales used to work as a messenger in a hospital in Kuwait before resigning about a year ago to put up
the lending business using her indemnity from previous employment as start-up capital.

One of the suspects, Ajith Augustine, was reportedly one of Gonzales agents in the business dealing, lending money with a monthly return of interest, but an argument between the two resulted in a fight that led to the killing.

Augustine also confessed to have been assisted by two of his friends, Rijo Thomas and Mohammad Thufal in choking Gonzales to death then burning her to cover up their crime. All three were co-workers in a bakery in Farwaniya.

The suspects were also reported to have stolen the victim’s money just before setting her flat on fire. But a civil ID of Thomas was found on the crime scene leading to the arrest of the suspects.

Meanwhile, friends of Gonzales were shocked of her tragic death, describing the victim as a kind person who was always ready to help friends in need. Gonzales also has no known enemies, according to her housemates.

“Ang pagkakakilala ko po sa kanya, mabait po siya, lahat po ng taong humiling po sa kanya, kung anong gusto, ibinibigay po. Wala po siyang kaaway na alam ko. Mabait po siyang tao,” one friend said of Gonzales.

(I knew her to be a kind person, who always helped those who asked her. She has no enemies. She’s a kind person.)

They have also sought the help of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait to repatriate the remains of Gonzales, whom they said just came from Christmas vacation last December.

Meanwhile, Embassy officials vowed to monitor Gonzales’ case, which is now under Kuwaiti police investigation.

Source 1, Source 2