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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jan 30, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) Wednesday confirmed that it is investigating the kidnapping of six fishermen allegedly by Venezuelan nationals, but said it would not comment on whether or not a US$200,000 ransom had been demanded.
Police Commissioner, Gary Griffith, speaking on a radio programme here, said that the situation has been complicated by the fact that the Trinidad and Tobago nationals are believed to be held in the South American country.
“We at the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service are doing all that is required. It is a very difficult situation. Initially reports are that they (those kidnapped) were actually outside of our waters when it is they were actually held by these individuals.
“It does not take away the fact that these are citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and there is a concern. It puts us in a very difficult position to do much more than we are doing because of the situation where they are not in Trinidad and Tobago waters,” Griffith said.
“I am not saying our hands are tied, there’s a lot that we are doing from our end. Hopefully there will be something positive by the end of this,” he added.
Media reports here said that the kidnappers have given the relatives until Friday to pay the ransom or face the prospect of the hands of those detained being chopped off.
A photograph of the six men, identified as Jude Jaikaran,16; brothers Jason, 38, and Jerry O’Brian, 36; Ricky Rambharose, 35; Brandon Arjoon, 29; and Linton Manohar, 36, has been circulating on social media showing them sitting on the floor while being surrounded by men pointing machine guns at them. The photo was sent to relatives on Monday.
In an audio clip that is also being circulated on social media, the families are warned that the kidnappers intend to make good on their demands.
Griffith was asked to confirm whether a ransom had been demanded.
“I am sorry but I will not be able to make any revelations pertaining to this while the investigations are still ongoing,” he told radio listeners.