Charges dropped against boys accused of phony kidnapping
'Victim' fined $15,000
Stabroek News
January 23, 2004

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Four boys accused of staging a phony kidnapping to extort money had the case against them dismissed yesterday.

Seventeen-year-old Victor Metivior Ali was given a $15,000 fine or six months imprisonment after he admitted that he gave false information to a police officer. Ali of 164 Happy Acres, East Coast Demerara pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiring to defraud and demanding money with menace with intent to steal.

The three other boys: 18-year-old Chandrashekar Ragnauth of 5 Lamaha Street, Railway Embankment; 18-year-old Mark Pompey of 202 Charlotte Street and a 16-year-old of Curtis Street, Albouystown also pleaded not guilty to the said offences.

After a meeting with the boys and all concerned in her chambers, Acting Chief Magistrate, Juliet Holder-Allen, dismissed the charges against all four.

The boys had originally been granted bail of $15,000 each by Holder-Allen on December 15 last year. The week prior to that, police had charged them with the offences.

Allegations had stated that between December 9 and 10 the boys had conspired with each other to defraud Vincent Metivior Ali, Victor's father, of $1 million by false representation that his son Victor had been abducted. They had also been accused of demanding $1 million from Vincent Ali while threatening to do harm to him and his family with intent to steal the said money.

Victor Ali was said to have set up the sham kidnapping. It was reported that in creating a story that he had been abducted for ransom he was hoping to extract money from his father so that he could fly to Trinidad.

The police found Victor Ali one day after the ploy, releasing him into his parent's custody.

But he was later turned over to the police after the sham kidnapping was revealed. The other three were held when police raided the home.

Young Ali has admitted that he gave false information to Sergeant Brian Vieira on December 10.

Representing the boy yesterday, attorney Paul Braam asked that the matter be closed as soon as possible and that the Victor Ali's passport be returned. The magistrate ordered it be given back to the boy's father. (James Hill)