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Jamaica: Couple accused of demanding $48,000 ransom for pregnant woman

By Jamaica Observer

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(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — A couple who reportedly kidnapped a five-month pregnant young woman for two days and demanded $48,000 for her release were last week remanded when they appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

A disc jockey and a female shop and bar operator were remanded on charges of kidnapping, extortion and conspiracy after their bail application was part heard and is scheduled for continuation on Tuesday.

According to allegations outlined in court by the prosecutor on August 27, the complainant who resides in Westmoreland, after noticing several missed calls on her phone decided to return the calls and was told that her 18-year-old sister had been kidnapped. The complainant was also reportedly told that her sister and her boyfriend had stolen some things from the accused, including a DJ mixture and that they were demanding $48,000 ransom.

The complainant was reportedly told to travel to Kingston with the money and to come off at Three Miles, where the kidnapping allegedly occurred.

On the same day, the complainant reportedly received more calls from the woman accused, asking if the money could be picked up but the complainant told her that she only had $20,000. The accused in return reportedly said that the $20,000 was not enough and hung up the phone. Shortly after, the male accused reportedly called back and requested a picture of the complainant while asking her what guarantee she could give that the rest of the ransom would be paid.

Further allegations are that arrangements were subsequently made for the complainant to meet the accused in Half-Way-Tree under the clock to exchange the money for the complainant’s sister’s release.

A sting operation was set up by the police during which the alleged kidnapped victim was rescued and the female accused was held. The male accused, on seeing the police, reportedly ran and escaped, but was later arrested.

The pregnant woman reportedly went to the the female accused shop on Saturday, August 25 and was kept there in the bathroom until Monday, August 27.

The investigating officer further told the court that during the operation, while standing beside the complainant, the female accused came up to her and insisted that the money be paid over to her, but the complainant said that she was not handing over the money over until her sister was brought to the scene.

“It was at that time she went on her phone and say ‘bring her come’ as the male accused had her in Mother’s,” the officer said.

“Got to be too much TV,” Parish Judge Maxine Ellis said after listening to the allegations.

“This sound like a movie script, a bad movie script,” she added.

However, the allegation were denied by the couple’s attorney, Sashana-Gay Dennis.

According to the lawyer, the couple did not make any demand for money from the complainant.

“It was the complainant who offered money to my clients,” Dennis said.

She also told the court that her clients had taken sympathy on the pregnant complainant and her boyfriend, and allowed them to stay in their shop as she had nowhere to go.

Dennis in her explanation said that the female accused saw the the couple loitering at the corner of her shop and realised that they were homeless, and that the pregnant woman was selling her body for a living.

However, she said that her client later found out that the items had been stolen from her shop and she contacted the pregnant woman’s sister’s to speak to her about the missing items and she came by and told them that she believed it was taken by her sister’s boyfriend.

According to the attorney, the pregnant woman left and her sister who had promised to compensate them for the stolen Dj mixer, told them to meet her in Half-Way-Tree.

The judge after hearing the the lawyer’s application asked the police officer to do some further investigation and report to court on Tuesday when the matter will be mentioned for the competition of the bail application.

Both accused were then remanded.

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