BREAKING NEWS: Six in custody for abduction of US citizen
By Leroy Smith
A businessman along with his wife, two friends and two boat operators are in custody, following the abduction of a 31-year-old male Cuban-born United States citizen.
The News Room has been informed that Norien Lopez who is based in Florida, United States arrived in Guyana on September 29, 2016, as part of a tour.
On October 4, 2016, however, the man who also has some friends on the West Coast of Demerara, decided to join a vessel at Charity to make his way to Venezuela but was detained by law enforcement in that country who demanded $2500US for his release.
The operator of the boat which took Lopez to Venezuela then decided to pay the sum to secure Lopez’s release after which Lopez joined another boat and returned to Guyana.
It is alleged that upon returning to Guyana, the operator of the boat took the US citizen to the home of the boat owner who confiscated all of his travel and personal documents.
The businessman and his wife then telephoned someone in the United States demanding a refund of the money before the release of the man and his documents.
This led to the US Embassy becoming aware of the situation and consequently contacting the Guyana Police force which quickly launched a manhunt for the US citizen.
On Saturday the police in ‘G’ Division headed by Superintendent Parshram swooped down on the home of the businessman in the lower Pomeroon but he was not there.
However, the man’s home was placed under surveillance and he was quickly arrested when he showed up and subsequently took the police to another house in the area where Lopez was being held. The man was not found to have any marks of violence.
The police then questioned the businessman and his wife and obtained information on the other players including the two boat captains and they too were arrested
The boat that Lopez travelled to Venezuela with, as well as the one which he returned to Guyana with, are owned by the same person and according to police sources, that is what prompted the cops to detain the respective captains.
At the moment police detectives from the Major Crimes Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department are preparing to make their way to Essequibo to conduct further investigations into the matter and explore the possibility of bringing the six suspects to Georgetown for further interrogation.
Lopez is still in Essequibo along with another Cuban national assisting the police with their investigations. This is taking some time as there is a slight language barrier in communicating with Norien Lopez.