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Homicide victim's phone found

STEVE HOPKINS
Last updated 10:32 07/02/2013
Shalvin Prassad
NZ Police
ON CAMERA: Shalvin Prasad withdrawing money at the ASB Bank at Ronwood Ave, Manukau.
Shavin Prasad
PETER MEECHAM/Fairfax NZ Zoom
Mourners at the funeral of Shavin Prasad, who was found dead on a roadside in South Auckland.

Shalvin Prasad withrew tens of thousands

Friends and family farewell Shalvin Prasad

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Police have recovered the mobile phone of a man who died when he was set alight on a roadside but still don't know why he withdrew tens of thousands of dollars from his bank before his death. 

The body of Shalvin Prasad was found at 6.30am last Thursday following a small scrub fire on the side of McRobbie Rd in Kingseat, Auckland. He was burned alive and had no other injuries.

The 21-year-old had withdrawn a large sum of money from a bank in Manukau on Wednesday before going missing.

He withdrew the money in $100 bills over the counter from a teller at ASB in Ronwood Ave, and did not seem in fear as he made the transaction, Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said.

"We have now completed background interviews with Shalvin's immediate family. They have not assisted us in determining the reason that Shalvin withdrew the large sum of cash,'' Lynch said today.

"We're still interested in hearing from any member of the public who has any information about why Shalvin would be motivated to withdraw this money or what has happened to the money."

Lynch said police yesterday recovered Prasad's mobile phone ''with the assistance of a member of the public''.

He said police were satisfied that person was not involved in Prasad's death. 

The police electronic crime laboratory is now  forensically testing the phone along with his Rav 4 which they recovered last week on Plunkett Tce, about 27km from where his body was found. 

Prasad's family had provided police with detailed descriptions of the clothing he was wearing, and what he had with him, when he left the family home. 

He was wearing a maroon coloured, Canterbury brand, round neck short sleeved T-shirt, dark grey three quarter length pants and black Billabong jandals with a white design.

Prasad had a black and white imitation leather wallet with him - featuring a puzzle design - an ASB Eftpos card, his driver's licence and keys to a Toyota Rav 4 along with a house key, a steering wheel key lock and a single plain ring with a piece of paper attached which either had Rav 4 written on it or registration number ZG1674. 

Lynch said police had received a ''significant number'' of calls over Prasad's death - information that was now being evaluated.

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Last week Lynch said police were trying to establish if Prasad was the victim of a fraud, or had been blackmailed, or something else.

"He has been described by family as innocent and naive... There certainly is the potential for someone to have taken advantage."

Police are checking CCTV footage in the hope of establishing when Prasad's car was dumped.

They are also still seeking sightings of two cars seen speeding away from McRobbie Rd around 6.30am the morning Prasad's body was found. 

It is unknown if the vehicles are relevant to the investigation.

Anyone with information about Prasad's death is asked to call police on 09 295 0311 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

- Auckland Now

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