Shalvin Prasad. Photo supplied
A 21-year-old man whose burning body was found in south
Auckland last week withdrew tens of thousands of dollars from
his bank account hours before he died, police revealed today.
Police investigating the homicide of Shalvin Prasad this
morning said they believed the money, which has not been
located, was related to his death.
It is not believed Mr Prasad was involved in any illegal
Police would not disclose the exact amount withdrawn but said
it was "in the tens of thousands range" and withdrawn about
eight hours before he went missing.
"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 here is no indication
that Shalvin was involved in any illegal activity," Detective
Inspector Dave Lynch said.
Mr Lynch said Mr Prasad was "a diligent saver and checks of
his banking history confirm that this money was gradually
saved over a long period".
The money was withdrawn from a term investment, "which
suggests to us that there was some recent event or activity
that motivated Shalvin to withdraw this money without the
knowledge of his family", Mr Lynch said.
Mr Lynch said CCTV footage at the bank showed Mr Prasad was
alone when he withdrew the money and he showed no obvious
signs of fearing for his safety.
He said Mr Prasad had been described by his family as
"innocent and naive" and it was possible somebody had taken
advantage of that.
He said police were investigating whether he was the victim
of fraud or if he was bribed or blackmailed.
The development comes the day after the funeral for Mr
Prasad, whose scorched body was found in a scrub fire on
A homicide investigation was confirmed at the weekend.
The last confirmed sighting of Mr Prasad was when he left his
parent's house at 8.30pm last Wednesday, when he said he had
been going to play pool.
Mr Lynch said there was no indication Mr Prasad had actually
He said a text message from Mr Prasad's phone to his parents
at 9.45pm said he would be home at 10.30pm. That text was
sent via the Drury telecommunications tower, which had a
broad range and didn't necessarily mean Mr Prasad was in
Drury, Mr Lynch said.
The withdrawn money was discovered later that night by Mr
Prasad's parents when they checked the account online after
becoming worried about their son not returning home.
"The police investigation will focus on anyone who had
knowledge of the fact that Shalvin had a large sum of money
with him and believe that identifying such persons will
assist in progressing the investigation," Mr Lynch said.
There had been no strong evidence to suggest when Mr Prasad's
car was parked on Plunkett Ave in Papatoetoe, where it was
found at the weekend.
Mr Lynch said it was believed he either arranged to meet
somebody there and was taken away by a "person or persons" or
the people involved in his death took his car back there.
He said the closest security camera had footage only back to
4pm on Saturday but a forensic analysis of the CCTV was
hoping to access earlier footage.
- Kieran Campbell