Man who faked kidnapping gets to spend Christmas with family in T&T

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Senior Magistrate Fabayo Azore on Friday granted permission for the Trinidadian national who allegedly faked his kidnapping in Guyana, to spend Christmas with his family in Trinidad and Tobago.

Sawak Maraj, 33, is a Trinidadian national and is currently on $1M bail. He was ordered to return to Guyana in 2019 for the continuation of his trial.

The application was made by his Attorney, Bernard Da Santos, who told the court that his client is under financial constraints and wants to spend the holidays with this family so that he can replenish his money.

The lawyer noted that Maraj is willing to pay $150,000 on each charge to guarantee his return to Guyana.

However, Police Prosecutor Dominic Bess opposed to the accused returning to Trinidad on the grounds that he is not a Guyanese national and the possibility exist that he will not return for the continuation of the trial.

The Prosecutor argued that the same money the accused is promising to guarantee his return can be used to maintain himself in Guyana.

The Magistrate, however, did not agree with the Prosecutor and so Maraj gets to return to Trinidad for the holidays.

He was ordered to return to court on February 2, 2019 for the continuation of his trial.

Maraj is charged with knowingly giving false information to the police alleging that he was kidnapped and his abductors demanded US$700,000 for his release.

The second charge alleged that on October 27, 2017 at Madewini Resort on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway where Maraj was found, he conspired with other persons to negotiate for the ransom to be paid.

According to reports, Maraj arrived in Guyana on the morning of October 27, 2017, on a Caribbean Airlines Flight, allegedly to attend an interview for potential employment.

It was noted that a booking was made for him at the Ramada Princess Hotel, he never checked in there.

Relatives of Maraj were later contacted by unknown persons via phone who indicated that their son was in custody in Guyana and demanded a sum of money for his release.

The relatives then contacted the Guyana Police Force who launched an investigation.

It turned out that two other Trinidadian Nationals, who are associated with Maraj and part and parcel of the plot, arrived in Guyana two days before 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 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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