The report that a young South Asian man has been arrested for conspiring to kill his wife in New Jersey by using hit-men to stage a phony attack is almost identical to a case also involving a South Asian couple that has been unfolding in South Africa.
The New York Times reported that Kashif Parvaiz. 26, was arrested in connection with the murder of his 27-year-old wife, Nazish Noorani. The two were shot at while they walked to their car in Boonton, N.J. The woman was killed, while Parvaiz was wounded, but survived. (Two children who were with them at the time were not harmed).
The Morris Country (NJ) prosecutor Robert Bianchi, said that a second suspect, identified as Antoinette Stephen, 26, was arrested in Boston and being held on bail of $5-million.
Bianchi said “there’s obviously a relationship” between Stephen and Parvaiz.
According to police, Parvail admitted complicity in the attack and said told investigators “there were issues in his marriage and that he was angry at his wife, the victim, for allegedly speaking negatively about his family.”
Parvaiz reportedly confessed that he “contracted” Stephen to kill his wife.
Police also stated that Nooran recently sent a text message to her brother in which he declared she was in fear for her life because of her husband’s violent abuse.
Parvaiz initially told the police a completely different story, but under the glare of questioning, it emerged that the gun attack was “staged” in order to kill his wife, but leave him wounded (and, presumably above suspicion of guilt).
While many questions and mysteries remain in the Parvaiz-Noorani tragedy, this case is remarkably similar to another case involving a troubled South Asian married couple eight-thousand miles away.
Shrien Dewani, a South Asian man from Westbury-on-Trym (Bristol), England, was recently arrested for being involved in the killing of his wife Anni during their honeymoon in Cape Town, South Africa last November. The woman was shot during a carjacking that was apparently staged and organized by Shrien in order to get rid of his wife.
South African prosecutors believe Shrien paid a taxi driver to arrange the murder (and disguised it as a form of robbery).
After much legal wrangling, South African authorities are seeking to extradite Shrien from Britain to South Africa to stand murder charges. He also faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and obstructing the administration of justice.
Two South Africans, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, 25, and Xolile Mngeni, 23, are charged with murder, kidnapping and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
In addition, Cape Town taxi driver Zola Tongo, 31, --who alleged Shrien paid him 15,000 rand (£1,400) in cash to orchestrate the murder -- has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and perverting the course of justice.
However, unlike Parvaiz in New Jersey, Shrien denies any involvement in the killing of his wife.
Either Mr Dewani arranged for his new bride to be brutally murdered or he himself has been the victim of a terrible tragedy, said a British judge.
Assuming both men are guilty of the crimes they have been charged with (or suspected of), they each sought to get rid of their wives by manufacturing the fiction of a robbery or criminal attack in order to masquerade their true intentions.
It will be interesting to follow both these cases and see what other twists and turns (and parallels) develop.