SEAN DOUGLAS and NARISSA FRASER
THE Prime Minister on Wednesday made a personal appeal to anyone with direct details of the whereabouts of kidnap victim Andrea Bharatt to come forward and tell the police.
Dr Rowley was speaking in reply to a question at a briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s on Wednesday. The PM said he had no new details other than what was already in the public domain.
Bharatt, 22, disappeared after entering a taxi in Arima on Friday. A ransom demand was then made after which the police held several suspects but, so far, have not found her.
Rowley said, “You would have seen the Commissioner saying it is a sensitive investigation and there are certain things that should not be spoken about at this time since it may assist the perpetrators. All efforts are being made to find this young lady.”
He said the whole country has been traumatised by Andrea’s kidnapping.
“There is a young lady somewhere and we hope she is not harmed.”
Saying all leads are being followed, Rowley said Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith is leading efforts which involve the police, Defence Force and private-sector specialists.
“We are all out there and we are just hoping that the end result is one where she can be returned unharmed.”
He said despite limitations, all that can be done is being done.
“One thing I want to say on that is that when these things happen, there are people around, among us in the population, who know what happened.
“All I could say to whoever is listening, if you know something about this young lady and what is happening to her, just remember that the upholder is worse than the thief.
“If you know something, you can safely say something to the authorities to assist us in recovering her."
Rowley said in crimes like this, there is almost always somebody who knows something that is useful to the investigation and the search.
"Please, if you are that person, come forward or get the information to law enforcement or somebody who will get it to law enforcement, so that the search can be focussed and have a better chance of being successful.
"But I refuse to believe, from what I’ve seen, that there are people who do not know what has happened to this young lady.”
Asked about calls for women to be allowed pepper spray, Rowley said nothing is cast in stone and Cabinet will make a decision soon, guided by the facts.
“We are prepared to use every single tool in the tool kit to protect the population especially the vulnerable population. We are not ideologically opposed to anything. I am anxious to hear what’s in the report that the minister (Minister of National Security Stuart Young) has and I expect he will bring it to the next National Security Council meeting.”
This story was originally published with the title "PM hopes Bharatt is found unharmed" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.
THE Prime Minister is hoping 22-year-old kidnap victim Andrea Bharatt will be found unharmed. He also urged anyone who has information on her to speak up.
Bharatt, a clerk, went missing after getting into a car she believed to be a taxi last Friday afternoon at King Street, Arima. A co-worker who travelled with her was dropped off safely, but Bharatt has not been seen or heard from since.
Speaking at a press conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann's on Wednesday, Dr Rowley said all efforts are being made to find her.
He added, "It is yet another instance of the criminal element terrorising the country, because the whole country is traumatised...There's a young lady out there, we hope she is unharmed. We are hoping the end result is one where she can be returned unharmed."
He said whenever these instances occur, there are people in the population who have information about the situation but refuse to speak out.
"All I could say is that to whoever is listening, if you know something about this young lady and what is happening to her, just remember the upholder is worse than the thief."