Foiled kidnapping
Cops move to trace owner of car used
Stabroek News
February 28, 2004

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Police are still trying to trace the owner of the car which was involved in the kidnapping of 18-year-old Narissa Persaud on Thursday evening in front of the Critchlow Labour College (CLC).

The car which was abandoned after the police chased it to North Ruimveldt bore the false number plate PGG 5428 at the time, Assistant Police Superintendent John Sauers confirmed yesterday. Sauers said the police were now trying to ascertain the original licence number of the car and would eventually trace its owner.

Persaud, a second-year student of the Association of Business Executives course at CLC, was dramatically rescued by policemen after she was abducted from outside the college. Her captors, three armed men, escaped following a bulletriddled car chase through a bumpy road in North Ruimveldt.

The Pike Street Kitty resident and daughter of Jhaman Persaud, proprietor of Amatuk Trading Company Ltd, told Stabroek News on Thursday evening she had just completed her evening classes around 6.45 pm and was heading out of the compound when the blue-grey Carina pulled up in front of the college's gate.

She said the three armed men bundled her into the back seat, ducttaped her hands and mouth and blindfolded her.

They also fired two shots: one in the direction of a security guard who was in his hut at the time. "Then they said don't move! Don't say a word! We are not going to hurt you", Narissa related.

She said she did not know anything after her eyes were blindfolded and it wasn't until she was rescued from the car in North Ruimveldt that she realised where she was.

Up to yesterday, the young woman was still unclear who the men were. Eyewitnesses claimed to have seen them in the area earlier in the evening.

"I can't say who they really were. But what I know is that they said they are not going to hurt me and they did not," the student said. She added that she did not know most of the students in her class, nor was she well known in her neighbourhood.

The young woman told this newspaper that she was happy to be back with her family after her brief captivity.

The teenager was placed between two of the men while in the car and was forced to keep her head down.

The men, she said, told her not to worry since they were not going to do her anything but would negotiate with her father.

Sauers told Stabroek News that the police conducted searches in the area for the men, one of whom removed his clothes while fleeing the scene. He said the police will continue to investigate the incident taking cognisance of citizens' reluctance sometimes to provide information. The police recovered the abductor's clothing on Thursday night.

Yesterday, relatives of Narissa praised the senior police officer attached to the college who alerted the police about the incident.

Stabroek News was told that the officer was in the compound at the time. Once he became aware of the abduction, he informed police ranks at Eve Leary who quickly followed the direction in which the car sped off. One of the policemen was convinced on Thursday night that they had hit one of the abductors during an exchange of gunfire.

At one time during the chase, the abductors fired several shots at the police who returned fire. The men later abandoned the vehicle leaving their hostage inside and made good their escape through a dark alley.

The foiled kidnapping is likely to serve as a reminder of the spate of abductions which gripped the country last year and the year before at the height of the crime spree.