Trinidad: Mom explains why she ‘kidnapped’ herself and son

By Trinidad Express

Outside the Couva Magistrates’ Court: Sapna Chinyan

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – THE WOMAN who claimed she and her six-year-old son were kidnapped, admitted to the court on Thursday that she made the false report because she has a gambling problem.

Sapna Chinyan spent $30,000, the last of the money she and her husband had in their account, then reported to the police that she used the money to pay a ransom for she and her child to be released from four men.

Chinyan, 32 a homemaker of Couva was charged with wasteful employment of the police. She reported to officers at the Couva police station that at 7.30a.m. last week Thursday, she and he son were abducted from their home by four unarmed men and taken to Claxton Bay. She said the men demanded a $30,000 ransom for their release.

That morning Chinyan reported to the officers that she was allowed to leave to collect the ransom while the men kept her son.

Police investigations included the viewing of CCTV footage and it was seen that the woman was not telling the truth. Constable Visham Ramoutar of the Couva Criminal Investigation Department charged Chinyan.

She faced a justice of the peace at the Couva court last week and was placed on her own bail.

On Thursday, she appeared before senior magistrate Siumongal Ramsaran.

Attorney Natasha Mongroo said her client had a gambling problem. She said the $30,000 was all the money Chinyan and her husband had in their account. “She (Chinyan) spent $30,000 and she couldn’t account for it. In her mind, that (making the report) was the only way.”

Mongroo said it was a “genuine pattern” as it was not the first time Chinyan had spent a large sum of money in such a manner. Family members however thought that after that first incident, everything was fine. Chinyan’s husband was in court for the matter.

The attorney asked for a bond for Mongroo whom she said used to do catering but stopped since the economy slowed.

Mongroo said the apologetic mother had no previous matters before the court and was willing to enrol in the gambling anonymous association in Port of Spain. “She asks for a chance to reform herself and rekindle her family situation,” the attorney said.

Ramsaran told her that admitting she had a problem was the first step in the right direction. He said that an addiction is a disease and should be treated as such. He said the same approach is used for alcoholism.

The mater was adjourned to June 11 when feedback is to be given on Chinyan’s enrolment at the anonymous association. She will then be sentenced.

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