The 24-year-old ex-stepdaughter of Stuart Young, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, was released by kidnappers around 2 am yesterday after people close to her paid two ransoms to secure her freedom.
Krystiana Sankar was freed after a first ransom of $117,000 was paid to kidnappers in the Carenage district on Thursday night. A second ransom of $50,000 was also paid in the same area later that night. She was dropped off on Morne Coco Road, close to the Four Roads Police Station, and was later met by police and relatives, who took her to the station.
Investigators are expected to search for CCTV footage of the area where she was dropped off. Sankar, who appeared unhurt, was then taken to a doctor in Woodbrook where she was examined and then reunited with her grandmother and 33-year-old boyfriend. Yesterday, she was resting at the Petit Valley home of her grandmother, surrounded by close friends and family.
Relatives said Sankar was too traumatised to be interviewed by police and they had asked investigators to allow her to recuperate first. Relatives said they were relieved she is back home safe and sound and thanked the police and all those who prayed and supported them during the distressing hours on Thursday night.
Newsday understands Sankar had moved out of her mother’s Blue Range, Diego Martin home after a domestic dispute. A close relative said yesterday she was very concerned about the company Sankar kept, but despite her family’s advice, Sankar opted to live the way she saw fit. Police said yesterday they have video clippings of Sankar in company with people who are known to them.
Young, who was told of his ex-stepdaughter’s kidnapping on Thursday night said: “I would like to thank the TT Police Service and all arms of law enforcement for their professionalism and efforts. I also thank all citizens who offered prayers and support during a very difficult time. I am happy that Krystiana is safe.” Police believe arrests are imminent.
Western Division police revealed they are looking for three suspects: the driver of the van used to transport Sankar and two others. At 7.50 pm on Thursday, Sankar and six friends were at the Crystal Stream, Diego Martin home of her ex-boyfriend when two men, one armed with a gun and the other with a cutlass, stormed the house and grabbed her.
As they were leaving, one of the kidnappers shouted, “We want $100,000 and five blocks of marijuana for her release.” The men bundled her into a white panel van with blue and green stickers. As they drove off, someone threw a rock at the van and smashed the rear window. The van was seen heading to the Four Roads area and Sankar’s ex-boyfriend called the police.
Head of Port of Spain CID acting Snr Supt Ajith Persad put together a team of police including Insps Narace, Thomas and Vincent and Sgt Jugmohan. The effort was co-ordinated by acting Commissioner Harold Phillip. Police spent several hours Thursday night trying to find Sankar, mounting roadblocks and searching various houses.
Meanwhile, the kidnappers contacted relatives and increased their ransom demand to $200,000. However, only $167,000 was paid. Newsday tried to reach Sankar’s mother Maria Daniel, but she was not at work yesterday and did not reply to an e-mail. It was later learnt she is out of the country.
Daniel previously had a common-law relationship with Minister Young, but they parted ways amicably a few months ago. However, he still has a close relationship with Krystiana, Daniel’s daughter from her previous marriage.