Murder accused a former schoolmate

AMY MAAS
Last updated 10:19 23/02/2013
Body in Kingseat
GRAHAME COX/Fairfax NZ

INVESTIGATION: Police and fire crews in Kingseat, Auckland, where Shalvin Prasad's body was found.

Shalvin Prasad
HOMICIDE VICTIM: Shalvin Prasad.

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A man charged with burning an Auckland man alive was a former schoolmate of the dead man.

Shivneel Shahil Kumar, 18, and a 20-year-old co-accused who has name suppression appeared at the Manukau District Court yesterday charged with the murder of Shalvin Prasad, 21.

Prasad's scorched body was discovered a fortnight ago on the side of a rural road in south Auckland.

Prasad and Kumar both attended Botany Downs Secondary College.

In court yesterday, Judge David McNaughton, suppressed all details of the case against the two men.

Prasad was killed hours after taking $30,000 from his bank account.

The judge also refused media permission to photograph either of the accused on the basis he was ''unable to determine whether the identity of the defendants will be an issue'' at trial.

Police said they were still looking for some property belonging to Prasad, including the keys to his Toyota Rav4, a house key, a steering wheel lock key, his wallet, ASB eftpos card and driver's licence.

Last week police revealed a third man was being investigated in relation "acts carried out in the days after the murder".

Detective Dave Lynch would not comment on whether police knew why Prasad had withdrawn the money he had been saving over a four-year period while working as a produce manager at Botany Pak 'n Save.

The arrests have come as a relief to Prasad's close-knit family.

"I spoke to Shalvin's parents [on Thursday] night and they're nearing the end of their traditional two-week mourning period, but the arrests have come as a relief to the family," said Lynch.

The men accused of Prasad's murder did not apply for bail and were remanded in custody.

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