Goldsmith, daughter kidnapped, released in 'neat' operation
Hefty ransom said to be paid
By Samantha Alleyne
October 26, 2002
An East Coast goldsmith and his teenaged daughter were kidnapped early yesterday morning and released a few hours later after a hefty ransom was paid, sources say.
The kidnappers warned the family not to speak to the media or the police or else they would face dire consequences.
Kumar Rampersaud, who is the proprietor of Kumar's Jewellery located on the Cove & John Public Road, and his 15-year-old daughter, Madonna Rampersaud were kidnapped at 6 a.m. on the Golden Grove Main Road in the vicinity of the railway embankment.
Stabroek News understands that Rampersaud and his daughter were released sometime after 11 a.m. after the ransom was paid.
Traumatised family members were reluctant to talk saying they had been warned by their kidnappers not to say anything to the media. Should they do so, the relatives said, they would face dire consequences.
According to reports Rampersaud was returning from President's College where he had taken his daughter for an agriculture session at the school which the child attends.
This newspaper understands that the man usually takes his daughter for the early morning sessions, waits for her and takes her home after which she goes to school.
At the time of the incident the man was driving his car, PHH 4049.
Residents in the area were reluctant to speak stating that they were afraid of being targetted by the kidnappers.
From the reports received it appears as if the men, four in number knew Rampersaud's movements and were waiting for him to return from the school.
According to some persons the men were seen in a gold Toyota Marino car, HB 309, which was parked on a bridge on the railway embankment. "As soon as a see dem man in deh car I know it was something they up to," one resident said.
The resident said he became afraid that the men might have been in the area to "kill someone" or maybe even harm him. But after the men remained in the car for sometime and troubled no one residents grew suspicious that they were waiting on someone or something.
Persons said as soon as the men saw Rampersaud's car they drove off the bridge and stopped in front of it forcing Rampersaud to brake sharply.
"When the car stop four heavily armed men, armed with AK-47 come out deh car and went to the man car," one resident said.
"He couldn't do nothing after dem men come out with deh gun," another resident said.
The residents said the man and his daughter were bundled into the kidnappers' car and they sped away after their mission was completed.
"If you see how neat this thing happen, it was real professional, them men 'ent even fire a gunshot," a resident said referring to the speed of the operation.
It is understood that the men, who were unmasked, were very young and clean-shaven and could have passed for law-abiding citizens.
Soon after the kidnapping the police arrived on the scene and after dusting Rampersaud's abandoned car for fingerprints they took it to the Cove & John Police Station and launched an investigation.
In the meantime the kidnappers had reportedly already contacted the family and made their ransom demand.
The demand was made soon after the car used by the kidnappers was found on the railway embankment between Annandale and Buxton. The car, which was discovered by a Guyana Defence Force (GDF) patrol was taken to the Vigilance Police Station.
At Rampersaud's home relatives were seen anxiously standing in the yard but they refused to speak to the media.
It was only after the man and his daughter were returned that they ventured to report to the media that the two were warned not to speak.
Stabroek News understands that the two were treated well by their captors. Reports stated that during the ordeal one of the kidnappers wanted to tie up Rampersaud and his daughter but the others were not in agreement.
"They were treated good, the men did not hurt them and we thank God that they come back safe," one source told this newspaper. According to reports the two were given the fare for a taxi which they hired to be taken home. A police source yesterday said that the family has not given the police any information on the transaction they had with the men.
The man operates a jewellery shop which specialises in hand crafted gold and diamond jewellery.
Residents of Golden Grove yesterday said because of the poor relationship they have with the police no one was prompted to call and report the suspicious vehicle with the men.
"We know dem men come fo something and we could a call de police and tell dem about the car and men. But because the police got a bad relationship with residents nobody called," one resident told Stabroek News.
He said that no one felt safe in providing the police with any information and even though the men were there for almost half an hour no one called the police.
This was put to a senior police officer who said that the residents could have called the police in Georgetown and not on the East Coast if they were afraid.
This kidnapping followed three others this week.
A Strathspey man, Camaldeo Ganesh is still missing after he was reportedly kidnapped on Wednesday night in the village.
Following this, businessman Brahmanand Nandalall was abducted by gunmen early Thursday morning as he was about to open his store on Regent Street. And the police yesterday said that a female juvenile was also kidnapped early Thursday morning from an East Bank location but she was found the very afternoon on D'Urban Street.