CRIME: Missing B.C. banker, 41, murdered in Pakistan over money dispute, says lawyer

Published: January 2, 2013

CHERYL CHAN
VANCOUVER DESI

Rajvindar Gill, 41, has been missing since August after travelling to Lahore, Pakistan. Her family, who lives in B.C., has been frantically searching for her. On Wednesday, a suspect confessed in Pakistani court to killing her. Submitted photo

A desperate five-month search for a missing Canadian woman has ended in tragedy for her family in B.C.

Rajvinder Kaur Gill, 41, disappeared in August after travelling to Pakistan, said her family, who had been praying day and night for her safe return.

But on Tuesday, Gill’s father Sikandar Singh Gill, sat in a Lahore courtroom and listened to the police chief recount a man’s confession about Gill’s murder.

According to local media, Hafiz Shahzad Hussain had confessed to killing Gill with his cousin Shahid Ghazanfar, a German national.

Hussain told police his cousin owed Gill money and that he invited her to Lahore to attend a diamond auction.

He said they picked Gill up from her hotel, spiked her tea with sedatives, and strangled her before dumping her body in a canal, reported news agency Press Trust of India.

Gill, a banker, lived in Mission and Burnaby before moving to Switzerland in 2006 where she worked for Merrill Lynch and UBS and EFG Bank.

Gill’s family said she travelled to Pakistan to attend a conference and a diamond auction. She arrived Aug. 25, and stayed in touch with them for the first few days. They last heard from her on Aug. 27.

Her dad and brother have been frantically searching for Gill, tracking her whereabouts, tracing her cellphone records, and appealing to authorities, both in Canada and Pakistan.

With the help of Swiss authorities, the family was able to go into Gill’s apartment, in a suburb of Zurich.

They also filed missing person’s reports with the RCMP, Interpol and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

The family said Gill’s Skype and cellphone records showed she had contacted various phone numbers in Pakistan, including a Pakistani TV actor/host who was the recipient of Gill’s last text message before she disappeared.

Gill’s body has not been found. Police are still looking for Ghazanfar, the alleged accomplice in Gill’s murder.

Her brother Tag said the family is not speaking to media at this time.

According to the PTI, Sikandar “went into shock” after hearing about his daughter’s murder.

He told reporters outside the courtroom that he wanted justice, said the news agency: “I will not return [to Canada] unless the body of my daughter is recovered.”

— with a file from AP

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