Gunmen abduct Mon Repos man
Family unable to raise $10m ransom
Stabroek News
April 12, 2003

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A Mon Repos man was kidnapped early yesterday morning by three gunmen who set 10 pm last night as the deadline for his relatives to acquire a $10M ransom for his safe release.

Deo Basdeo, 33, of 113 Mon Repos North, East Coast Demerara, was abducted sometime around 6 am at the Vryheids Lust Rail-way Embankment Road. However, up to press time last night his family, whose home is in a squatting area, could not raise the sum and were still awaiting word from his abductors.

Basdeo is the latest person to be abducted on the East Coast. Over the last four weeks or so, two Trinidadians were kidnapped and released shortly after ransoms were paid for them. A number of other persons have been kidnapped by gangs operating out of Buxton/Friendship.

According to reports, the father of two left home, clad in a black t-shirt, torn jeans and white boots, shortly after 5.30 am and boarded a minibus to make his way to Vryheids Lust.

Shortly after getting out of the bus, he was abducted by three armed men who rushed him into a car and sped off.

Soon afterwards, Basdeo's employer, who was only identified as someone named `Johnny,' received a call from the kidnapped man who informed him of his predicament.

Having no success with his employer, Basdeo was later instructed by his captors to contact his family. They received a call sometime after 8 am and the man passed on the $10M ransom demand for his safe return.

The family was subsequently visited by police who had received reports of the incident and who had gone to investigate.

Meanwhile, throughout the day Basdeo, using his own cellular phone, was forced to contact his home to update his captors as to whether his family had raised the money. His wife said during the phone calls he could be heard screaming in the background and gave the impression that he was being beaten or tortured. Efforts were made to call the cellular number and while they managed to succeed earlier in the day, by the afternoon they were told that the phone had been turned off.

According to the man's family they last heard from him sometime between 2.20 and 2.30 pm, when his captors set the 10 pm deadline.

When Stabroek News visited his home last night his wife, flanked by neighbours wept as she said she could not raise the sum being demanded.

"We can't raise that money, we live in a squatting area," Basdeo's wife told Stabroek News.

Outraged neighbours were baffled by the demand. "By no means can she raise that sum," one resident said. "Look at the people here, the whole area couldn't raise $10M. They live in a squatting area that is part of the seawall."

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