Shaquil Haque kept low profile
MURDERED businessman Shaquil Haque kept a low profile in the Far North, despite introducing his company to the region with a lavish party and fireworks display at Kewarra Beach in 2008.
As managing director of Capital Globe, Mr Haque had approval to build an ambitious tower development on Sheridan St and part of the Smithfield Town Centre, but little is publicly known about him and his slain financial adviser, Charles Young.
Both were found shot dead in an Islamabad guesthouse on Friday, with investigators reportedly treating the case as a business-related murder.
Former Cairns mayor Kevin Byrne, employed by the company in 2008 as an executive director, is understood to have flown to Hong Kong – where CEO Rob Duff is based – earlier this week at the request of the company.
On his return to Cairns yesterday, Mr Byrne was not willing to discuss the issue.
"Not at all, Digger," he said.
"Not after what you bastards wrote today."
Mr Haque’s Kewarra Beach multi-million dollar mansion was purchased from Christian Ainsworth, son of poker machine king Len Ainsworth.
Mr Haque is understood to have spent short periods of time at the home in recent years.
Business associates, real estate agents, developers and some Cairns councillors, including Mr Byrne and Cr Linda Cooper, were among those invited to the party.
Cr Cooper said she only briefly met Mr Haque at the party, which featured a pyrotechnics display exhibiting the letters "CG" and fireworks.
"I couldn’t really comment on what type of person he was, it was a very brief meeting," she said.
Other attendees at the event and councillors and business leaders approached for comment yesterday also said they knew little about Mr Haque and his dealings in Cairns.
But several sources said Mr Young was particularly respected and considered very polite and professional.
Deputy Mayor Margaret Cochrane – whose division includes the Smithfield Town Centre development – said she had only met the men once.
Owen Dalton, of development consultancy firm Conics, said he had "professional" dealings with the men but knew little about them.
Carl Williams, the former managing director and owner of LHL Investments – sold to Capital Globe in 2008 under a $30 million deal – said he was shocked by the murder.
"I’m very sorry to hear of the event," Mr Williams said.
Capital Globe is a part leaseholder in a shop front on the corner of Abbott and Shields streets in Cairns, but the owner of the shop did not want to
Mr Byrne told associates in an email last week he was keen to continue his association with the company, despite securing a new job in PNG.
"CG have great assets and with their development approvals in place, plus the Smithfield Town Centre issues being resolved, their future looks bright and no doubt at the appropriate time they will push on with their plans," he wrote.
"I have enjoyed working with them and will continue to enjoy the association in the time ahead."
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is investigating Mr Haque’s murder.
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