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Thursday 20 June 2019
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Man, 25 charged with kidnapping of Penal family

A 25-year-old Penal man is expected to appear before a Siparia Magistrate tomorrow charged with the December 1 kidnapping of a Penal family.

The man of Sunress Road was slapped with six counts of kidnapping for ransom, six counts of demanding money by menace, robbery with violence and other offences.

Reports said the Penal man was charged yesterday by Sgt Gookool of the Penal CID after he received instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard.

Last Saturday Aaron Sooknanan, 28, his 26-year-old Venezuelan-born wife Paola Sanchez-Sooknanan, five-year-old son Ricardo, three-year-old daughter Isabella and Sanchez-Sooknanan’s sister Roxana Gonzalez, 37, also from Venezuela, were kidnapped from their Jhulai Trace off Penal Rock Road by masked men.

One day later the family was rescued by police who went to a house at South Oropouche River Road, Barrackpore.

Heavily armed police from the Special Operations Response Team (SORT), the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit (OCIU), the Anti Kidnapping Unit (AKU) and the South Western Division CID stormed the house and “extracted” the victims. All units were activated and co-ordinated by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith. Three men were held. Police said two of the men were released pending investigations.

Reports said Sooknanan was badly beaten and had broken bones. He was unable to walk when he was rescued by police. His wife also appeared to have been beaten and was deeply traumatised when found. The children appeared to be unharmed but sobbed uncontrollably when they were rescued at the Barrackpore house. The victims were taken in unmarked police vehicles to the hospital.

They were treated and later discharged. Police said the family of four are now recovering at a safe house at an undisclosed location.

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