Friday, January 19, 2018

Two Venezuelans escape from 7-week kidnapping

For seven weeks, two Venezuelan men were beaten, tortured and threatened by masked men armed with high-powered weapons and who made demands for money, weapons and drugs as they kept the two against their will at an unknown location in North Trinidad.

On Thursday, they escaped and told the police of their plight. 

Police told the Sunday Express yesterday that on Wednesday March 5, two friends, aged 29 and 31, both Venezuelan nationals, were at the home of a 41-year-old man known to them on Sar Sar Trace, Manuel Congo Road, Arima. 

Sometime during the early hours of the morning, a group of masked men armed with guns and cutlasses stormed the home and forced the two men to the ground. They proceeded to beat the two friends, before blindfolding them, tying them up, moving them into a vehicle, and to an unknown location.

For the next seven weeks, police were told, the Venezuelans were kept in a locked room with at least one of their captors always in an adjoining room to ensure they did not escape.

 The captors also made several demands from the two men, threatening to take their lives if they were unable to source large quantities of cash, firearms, ammunition or drugs.

 The two kidnap victims repeatedly told their captors as best as they could that they could not assist them with their demands, but despite their pleas, for several days the victims were beaten, tortured, and threatened. 

However, on Thursday morning, fortune smiled on the two as, for reasons unknown, their captors left them unsupervised.

 The two men took the opportunity to escape and forced their way out of the building. They then walked cautiously along the roadway seeking assistance and hiding in the bushes along the way.

 While walking along Jokhan Trace, Carapo, the two men were overjoyed to see the flashing blue lights of a police vehicle occupied by a party of officers from the La Horquetta Crime Patrol Unit, including acting Cpl Jones and PCs George, Chow and Viera. 

The two friends flagged down the police car and related their ordeal to the policemen.

 The officers transported the two men to Arima Police Station and contacted an official from the Venezuelan Embassy to attain the services of a translator.

The two friends were interviewed by the officers, with guidance from Insps Simon and Maraj, and official statements were taken from them.

 They were then transported to Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, where they were medically examined and treated, before being released.

 Police sources said, based on the information received, a party of officers also made their way to the home where the men confined and spoke to the 41-year-old owner. 

Cpl Jones is continuing inquiries. 

In a brief interview yesterday, head of the Northern Division, Senior Supt David Abraham, confirmed the report, but did not wish to officially comment on the incident as information was still being gathered. 

Attempts to contact Venezuelan Ambassador Coromoto Godoy also proved unsuccessful.