Missing mum's partner in dock

2017-11-02 13:16
(Left) Ravichandren Chetty (44) is alleged to have opened a false kidnapping case in connection with disappearance of Northdale woman Arlene Vanessa Pillay.  (Right) Arlene Vanessa Pillay (right) went missing in July. She is pictured with her sister, Emmaline.

(Left) Ravichandren Chetty (44) is alleged to have opened a false kidnapping case in connection with disappearance of Northdale woman Arlene Vanessa Pillay. (Right) Arlene Vanessa Pillay (right) went missing in July. She is pictured with her sister, Emmaline. (Kerushun Pillay/Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - The case of a Northdale woman missing for four months has taken a dramatic turn with her common law husband now accused of trying to mislead police by opening a false kidnapping case.

Ravichandren Chetty (44) is also accused of pretending to be the missing woman, Arlene Vanessa Pillay, in text messages to her family.

The messages allegedly said she was “alive and well” and would be “home soon”.

He faces two charges of defeating the ends of justice, and one of kidnapping.

The state has additionally charged Chetty with murder, in spite of the fact that Pillay’s whereabouts are still unknown.

Chetty was remanded in police custody after a brief appearance at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

He will appear in court for a formal bail application next week.

The state plans to oppose bail, the court heard.

Members of Pillay’s family clapped from the gallery as Chetty was taken back into police custody.

According to his charge sheet, Chetty is accused of opening a false missing person’s case in connection with Pillay’s disappearance.

The charge sheet further alleges that text messages Chetty is alleged to have sent gave Pillay’s family “false hope” that she was alive.

Chetty was allegedly with Pillay at the time of her disappearance, police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim said. He was arrested on Sunday for defeating the ends of justice, perjury and contravening the Commissioner of Oaths Act.

Pillay was last seen by her family on July 24 when she left her mother’s house — where she was staying at the time — to take her children’s school clothes to Chetty’s house, The Witness reported previously.

Family members said at the time Pillay had been separated from Chetty for about two months. The couple had been together for eight years and had three daughters, aged seven, five and two.

The Witness reported that her family received a text saying that Pillay was “fine”, and another expressing anger at an article in a community paper about her disappearance.

The family opened a missing person’s case the following day when Pillay failed to return home and did not respond to calls and messages.

Pillay’s sister, Emmaline, told The Witness outside court on Wednesday that the family is suffering because Pillay’s whereabouts remain unknown.

Pillay was described by family as a quiet, homely person. She did not work, apart from a few part-time jobs.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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