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Saturday 23 March 2019
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Kidnappers wanted $1m

HELD: The other suspect who was arrested on Wednesday.
HELD: The other suspect who was arrested on Wednesday.

MARIA Dass-Supersad was kept in a makeshift camp deep in the Caura forests by two kidnappers, who used a sedative to drug her while they kept her under close watch. In the camp, the two made contact with Dass-Supersad’s loved ones and demanded $1m for her safe release.

The men were arrested on Wednesday night and Dass-Supersad rescued by police. Two men, both in their 20s, and both from Diego Martin were arrested. Police seized two guns from the kidnappers.

The two, who were dressed in police and army fatigues, are not members of the protective services.

They were taken to police stations in Port of Spain and were being questioned yesterday by a joint team from specialised units.

The two were uncooperative, refusing to give any information about where they had got the uniforms and who were the masterminds behind the kidnapping.

‘POLICE’: One of the suspects detained on Wednesday night in
connection with the kidnapping of UWI manager Maria Dass-Supersad.

The car seized at Caura was sent to the SERU (Special Evidence Recovery Unit) in Cumuto. It was discovered to be stolen and had a false numberplate.

Yesterday, Northern Division police accompanied by ACP McDonald Jacob, more police and soldiers trekked several miles into the Caura forest, where they found the makeshift camp where Dass-Supersad was kept after she was snatched at the north entrance of the UWI campus in St Augustine.

ACP Jacob confirmed that the camp had been found, but said he could not divulge any further information because of the ongoing investigation. Yesterday he and other officers met to discuss the probe and directives were given to ensure the arrest of others involved in the kidnapping.

Police using state-of-the-art technology from the Strategic Services Agency (SSA) and other intelligence units were able to trace calls to Caura. This led to Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, along with various police agencies including the Northern Division, placing police along the Caura Road to arrest the kidnappers and rescue Dass-Supersad.

Yesterday, Griffith issued a video interview recalling the rescue and said, “I wish to thank the different arms of the TT police service who excelled: the Special Branch, the Northern Division, the IATF, Special Operations Response Team (SORT), the intelligence agencies — this was all led by ACP Jacob.

“I coordinated the operation from the Operation Command Centre and in the same manner as we have operated in the last three months — this I think is the sixth kidnapping that has taken place in the last three months. and all six persons have been returned to their families unharmed without any ransom being paid.”

Griffith was critical of people who took to social media to do what what he termed as falsely accusing the police of not responding as fast as they did with other kidnappings. He said these allegations were classless, baseless and without merit.

Yesterday Dass-Supersad was still coming to terms with her ordeal. The Anti-Kidnapping Unit was arranging to interview her. Relatives said they believe she was targeted because the kidnappers felt a male relative might be wealthy.

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