Kidnappers demanding ransom for 19-year-old Mon Repos carpenter
Was held during visit to Buxton
By Nigel Williams
December 19, 2002
Two days have passed since kidnappers snatched a 19-year-old man from Mon Repos and demanded ransom and up to press time yesterday the police were still trying to find out what had happened to him.
Heeraman Sahadeo, called `Jappo', of Lot 114-115 Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara has been in the hands of his captors somewhere in the village of Buxton since Tuesday.
Up to late last evening his relatives and friends were keeping vigil at his home hoping that his captors would call.
The young man was said to have been visiting Buxton for some time now in an attempt to collect wages owed to him by a building contractor there.
Contacted yesterday Assistant Superintendent of Police, David Ramnarine said that the police are investigating the matter. Major Hubert Meusa of the Guyana Defence Force told Stabroek News that while the army is aware of the report it has not been asked by the police to assist.
Two other East Coast men who were kidnapped in recent months were later discovered dead in or close to Buxton.
Sahadeo's grandmother Krishendai Seenanand speaking to this newspaper yesterday said that she found it very strange that Sahadeo had been asked to visit Buxton to be paid when usually he and other workmen are paid at work. The woman said that on Tuesday at about 2:20 pm Sahadeo went to her home and told her that he was going to Buxton to collect some money owed to him. She said it was about two weeks since he had been going to Buxton for the money, but on all the previous occasions the man had been making promises to him. Seenanand said shortly after he told her his plan, his mother Radha Sahadeo came across to her house which is in the same yard and handed him $40 for his bus fare.
The young man set off at about 2:30 pm telling both his mother and grandmother that he was going by a `Rasta man' for his money. Seenanand said as the hours slipped by and Heeraman did not return they became very concerned.
At 6 pm the young man's uncle Budraj Sukhdeo answered a telephone call. Sukhdeo said he allowed the phone to ring twice before answering it. "All I hear was a male voice and the man ask me where is `Sadesh' which is another call name for Heeraman."
Sukhdeo said he answered the person in the negative and immediately the phone was hung up on him. Sukhdeo told this newspaper that he heard loud voices and music in the background.
Thirty minutes later the phone rang again and this time Seenanand answered the phone.
"Where is Sadesh?" the voice inquired. "Me nah know weh he deh," Seenanand responded.
She related that soon after she said that, the man on the phone said that he would like to speak to Radha, adding that he was her friend.
Seenanand said she called her daughter over to answer the phone and then the man told Radha that he and others had kidnapped her son and demanded that she pack up all of the gold jewellery she had along with $5 million and keep it for them. Radha said on hearing that she requested to speak to Heeraman and her request was granted. When her son came on the phone he was only allowed to say "mummy" and the phone was hung up.
With the second call Radha said she immediately went to the Beterverwagting Police Station and made a report. While she was at the station Sukhdeo said he received another call from the men asking whether they had already accumulated the money.
"I ask dem how much they want and the man said $5 million and I ask him how he is going to get it and his response was bring it down at Kitty Market."
Sukhdeo said he also asked the man how he could recognise him if he should go to the market, and the caller told him that he would know him, and if he does not carry the money they would burn down their house and kill everyone.
The phone was hung up after the threats but 15 minutes later another call was received inquiring whether they were serious about handing over the money.
"Our business is to kill, you all best deh pon business, because if we don't get de money is kill we gun kill he and when we done we gonna blow up de house regardless of police or soldier," Sukhdeo quoted the man as saying.
Leaving Heeraman's relatives, the kidnappers called his paramour's mother who resides at Success, also on the East Coast, and inquired first whether she was his mother-in-law. Stabroek News understands that the woman answered in the affirmative and after she did, they told her that he was being held and they needed $2 million from her for his release. Sukhdeo said that Heraman was allowed to speak to the woman briefly.
The teenager's relatives said that from all indications the kidnappers have been questioning him since some personal business was leaked by the kidnappers to his mother-in-law.
Since then there has been no other calls to either the teenager's mother-in-law or his grandmother.
Heeraman's relatives said that they are very poor people and there was no way they could meet the ransom demand. The young man is to be married soon. He is known in the area for his carpentry skills and was described by his relatives as a very quiet and peaceful person.