RealNews

Kidnappings in the Caribbean on the Rise

A businessman arriving at his front gate was dragged from his car, blindfolded and taken to a wooden shack, where his hands and legs were bound to bedposts for 17 days. Saran Kissoondan did not know the men who fired a shot into the air and kidnapped him in front of his wife and children. He also said he might not have survived if his family had not paid a $500,000 ransom. “Honestly, I thought they came to kill me,” he said after being freed this month. As in most cases, his kidnappers remain at large. Caribbean countries are reporting a sharp rise in kidnappings for ransom as police say criminal gangs appear to be entering a lucrative new business. There were 29 such kidnappings in Trinidad last year — more than three times the number in 2001. The payments of ransom often wind up encouraging more kidnappings. “People hearing about kidnappings know that it is very easy money,” said Henry Millington, head of the Trinidad police’s anti-kidnapping unit. Full Story

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