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Thursday 20 June 2019
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Third suspect released in Penal kidnap

POLICE detained a third suspect in Saturday’s kidnappings of a Penal family, but after interviewing the man, they released him late last night without any charges.

The manhunt continues today for three accomplices and police are "exploring all options" which may lead to more arrests.

Aaron Sooknanan, 28, his 26-year-old Venezuelan-born wife Paola Sanchez-Sooknanan, their five-year-old son Ricardo and three-year-old daughter Isabella are traumatised but safe, police said. Sanchez-Sooknanan’s sister Roxana Gonzalez, 37, also from Venezuela, was also kidnapped.

A Venezuelan man, the cousin of the two women, was severely beaten but escaped the kidnappers and is recuperating at the hospital.

The family lives at Jhulai Branch Trace off Penal Rock Road, Penal.

Police are working with translators to find out details of the kidnappings.

Police .among them ASP Pariman, Sgts Rampalad and Gookool, Cpl Bhagwandeen, PC Khaloo and WPC Mohammed, are pursuing several leads.

At about 7 am on Saturday, Sooknanan’s mother Zalica reported to Penal police that the family was missing and the house ransacked. Four hours earlier, residents found the Venezuelan man tied up and bruised on the road near the house. The injured man, who cannot speak English, was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital.

At about 11. 40 am on Sunday police rescued the family at a house in a forested area at South Oropouche River Road in Barrackpore and took them to hospital. Newsday learnt Sooknanan was badly beaten, had broken bones and was unable to walk when he was rescued.

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith visited them and later told reporters the victims did not have life-threatening injuries.

While police have determined a motive for the kidnapping, Griffith did not want to divulge too much information since it could compromise the investigations.

He described the kidnappers as "low-life creeps" and "animals."

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