A woman who falsely reported to police that she and her six-year-old son were kidnapped, by men who demanded a $30,000 ransom, told a magistrate yesterday she has a gambling problem.
Sapna Chinyan, 33, of Carli Bay, Couva admitted that she had used the family’s savings of $30,000 to fund her habit and making the false report was her way out.
She was charged with wasting the police’s time and was taken before senior magistrate Siumongal Ramsaran in the Couva court yesterday and pleaded guilty to the charge laid by PC Visham Ramoutar of the Couva CID.
Prosecutor Sgt Lincoln Bonnett told the court that Couva police received a report on Thursday last that a woman and her child were abducted from their home at 7.30 am and taken to the Southern Main Road, Claxton Bay by four unarmed men of African descent in a brown Nissan Almera car.
Police was also told that the men demanded a $30,000 ransom, and Chinyan was allowed to leave and collect the ransom money while the men kept the child. However when police investigated and viewed CCTV footage which revealed the report was false, Chinyan was arrested and charged.
Attorney Natasha Mongroo represented the mother of one. Chinyan’s husband was also in the courtroom. Mongroo said her client used to do catering but stopped when sales slowed down.
“She has apologised for what she did and is willing to submit to any form of counselling,” the attorney said. Mongroo told the magistrate that Chinyan is willing to join the Gamblers Anonymous association in Port of Spain.
“She is asking for a chance to reform herself and rekindle her family situation.”
The magistrate said admitting she had a problem was a step in the right direction for Chinyan and gambling was an addiction which should be treated like a disease. He agreed that Chinyan should be enrolled in a programme. The matter was adjourned to June 11 when Ramsaran is expected to pass sentence.