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(NEWS SOURCE GUYANA) – He came to Guyana, claiming that he was here for a job interview, but on Tuesday Trinidadian national, Sawak Maraj, found himself appearing before Guyana’s Chief Magistrate facing charges of staging his own kidnapping.
The 33-year-old man denied the allegations presented to him at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court that he knowingly conspired with others to gave false information about being kidnapped in Guyana, and that he attempted to obtain a US$700,000 ransom from his own parents.
The accused declared his innocence in Court and his Attorney begged for bail to be granted, claiming that the man really was kidnapped and was now being made a victim twice.
The Police Prosecutor asked the Court to deny bail based on the seriousness of the offence and the fact that the man’s two alleged accomplices remain on the run.
The Chief Magistrate refused bail and remanded Maraj to prison until November 16, 2017.
The Court heard that the man arrived in Guyana last Friday and hours after his arrival, his parents back in Trinidad were forced to contact the Guyana Police Force after they received a call from an unknown person demanding money for their son’s release.
The caller, who contacted the parents and spoke in a Trinidadian accent, claimed that Maraj was kidnapped just after arriving in Guyana.
The Guyana Police Force activated its Major Crimes Unit and was able to track down the location of the phone that was used to make the ransom call.
Agents rushed to a resort just outside of Georgetown and were left “dumbfounded”, when they breached one of the resort apartments and found Maraj alone in the apartment in a relaxed mood, watching television and sipping on juice.
He was immediately taken into custody and according to the Police, the investigations revealed that two other Trinidadian men, who are still to be arrested, were part of a scheme, along with the man, to get money from his parents back in Trinidad.
The two men reportedly arrived in Guyana two days before the “kidnapping” and were seen on airport surveillance video, greeting the Maraj when he arrived last Friday.
The three were also caught on camera at a Georgetown Hotel making bookings, before leaving for the resort, where he was eventually found alive and well.