Trini national allegedly faked kidnapping in 2001


By Leroy Smith

Hours after 33-year-old Sawak Maraj, a Trinidadian national landed in Guyana and reportedly staged his own kidnapping, the police swooped down at the Madewini Resort on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway and found the man relaxing comfortably with his alleged abductors on Friday, October 27.

Detectives have also begun to unravel an apparent scheme by the man to extort monies from his relatives.

When contacted by the News Room, Crime Chief (ag), Paul Williams told the News Room that during their interrogation of Maraj, it was revealed that his family was forced to pay a ransom of two hundred thousand TT dollars for his safe return in 2001.That act was committed on his home soil.

Asked by the News Room what may have led the men to use Guyana as their next ground for such a daring stunt, the Crime Chief said: “We are of the view that they believe that we have a jokey system so they thought that they could have gotten away with it. We don’t usually get kidnappings in this country so immediately after we received the information of an alleged kidnapping, we became suspicious and activated some critical checks and balances which heeded results.”

In a statement on Friday evening, the Guyana Police Force stated that earlier in the day the relatives of the Maraj were contacted by unknown persons via phone who indicated that their son was in custody in Guyana and that a sum of money was later demanded for his release.

The Chemical Engineer arrived in Guyana on a Caribbean Airlines Flight Friday morning and while a booking was made for him at the Ramada Princess Hotel, he never checked in there.

As part of the plan to stage the kidnapping, Maraj told his parents and detectives here that he came to Guyana to attend an interview for potential employment.

It turned out that two other Trinidadian Nationals, who are associated with Maraj and part and parcel of the plot, arrived in Guyana on Wednesday and after clearing immigration, they checked in at the Madewini Resort.

The taxi driver who picked them up at the airport told detectives that when he was hired by the men, they requested to be taken to that location. Once there, the taxi driver and the men exchanged telephone numbers. The Trinidadians told the taxi driver that they had another colleague who would be arriving in the country on Friday and they provided him with details.

Once Maraj arrived, he joined the taxi willingly, having been briefed by his fellow countrymen; he was taken straight to the Madewini resort where he joined the two men.

The police managed to crack the case after reviewing CCTV footage from the airport and were able to acquire the license plate of the taxi driver. Contact was made with the driver of the car and he willingly cooperated with the police and took them to the location where he took the men.

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