Mar 18, 2011 News
– Suspect’s son questioned
A Guyanese woman has contacted the United States Embassy here with a harrowing story of being gagged, duct-taped and locked in a storage bond last Friday by an East Coast Demerara family with whom she had worked as a maid.
Khamattie Mangal, of Block Eight Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara, said she managed to escape after cutting through her bonds and breaking out of the storage facility in which she was being held prisoner, after being accused of stealing from her female employer.
Mangal and relatives contacted officials at the US Embassy on Monday after saying they had little confidence that local law enforcement officials could protect her.
The woman said that she is so fearful for her life that she has moved out of her home and has altered her appearance.
However, she has also informed the Ministry of Human Services and Police at Sparendaam about her ordeal.
Embassy officials are familiar with the family accused of abducting Mangal. One family member is presently serving a lengthy sentence in the US.
Kaieteur News confirmed yesterday that police have questioned a young man who Mangal identified as one of her abductors. He was released after giving the lawmen a statement. However, Mangal’s former employer has not been arrested.
Police also took a statement from Mangal yesterday and advised her to return with a medical report. She also handed over some of the duct-tape with which she was allegedly bound.
Speaking to Kaieteur News, Mangal said that she had been working as a domestic with the East Coast Demerara family for about three years.
She said that her troubles started at around 13:45 hrs last Friday, when she indicated that she was ready to leave for the day and asked her female employer for her weekly wages.
“I tell her I going and change, and I ready for payment.”
Mangal said that she was in the kitchen at the time and observed that the grill door leading out of the kitchen was locked.
“I say ‘Mistress, like you forget and lock me up’. She said she mistakenly brought away the key and she said to hold on.”
According to Mangal, the employer then opened the door, and told her to go into the hallway.
“She come and bring me in the hallway, and say ‘sit, I want talk to you.”
She said: “You had a ball the last two weeks with my things, including my necklace.’”
“I say ‘me mistress? God knows I ain’t trouble nothing for you.’”
Mangal alleged that her employer then brought another chair and ordered her to sit in it.
“She say ‘sit, and put yuh hand at the back of yuh back.’”
Mangal claims that the woman’s teenage son and daughter were present during the ordeal. She said that the woman then began to bind her hands behind her back with a roll of duct tape. The employer also reportedly took the maid’s cell phone and searched the victim to ensure she had no other phone.
According to Mangal, the woman then summoned her driver to buy more duct-tape. Meanwhile, the maid said that she began to plead with her former employee to release her, but this only further incensed the woman.
“I say ‘Mistress, you got children, too,’ and she run from the glass door with a rage and start punch me in my cheek and say ‘don’t you ever tell me about my children…’”
“I asked her to call in the police, if she felt that I steal from she and she say ‘the police is out of this.’”
Mangal alleged that while the woman’s daughter held up her (Mangal’s) head, the son gagged her with another roll of duct tape. According to the alleged victim, the woman and her children then took her outside and placed her in the back of a vehicle. They then placed two cloth sacks over her head and began to drive.
Mangal said that the vehicle eventually stopped and she was taken into a building. She said that her captors forced her to sit with her back to a concrete post and, with the aid of more duct-tape, secured her upper body to the post.
She then heard them leave.
Mangal said she immediately began working desperately to escape. Eventually, by bending forward as far as she could, she managed to clamp the bags on her head between her knees and remove them. She said she also managed to burst the duct-tape which was strapped around her body and the post. After that, she also saw a sharp metal implement and was able to use this to slash through the duct-tape around her wrists.
Mangal said that she observed that she was in a high, windowless, concrete storeroom that was heaped with tyres. The doors were locked.
The woman said that in desperation, she used a heavy metal object to smash a small hole in one of the concrete walls and slip through.
According to Mangal, on looking at her surroundings, she realised that she was still on the East Coast of Demerara, a short distance from her abductors’ home.
The property was fenced, but she managed to clamb over it and enter another yard. In pouring rain, she made her way to the East Coast Demerara public road.
Mangal said she attempted to flag down passing vehicles, but none of them stopped.
“I see a bus stop and I ask for a drop to the (Sparendaam) police station, I in some trouble, and the conductor say that he can’t make it.”
However, Mangal said she entered the front seat and the driver took her to the Sparendaam Police Station. That was around 17:00 hrs.
According to Mangal, a policeman took her report and the ranks even looked at a portion of the duct tape that she still had. However, the ranks did not keep it.
The woman said that the police ranks told her to get a medical report from the Georgetown Hospital.
Mangal said that she began walking home but got a lift on a bicycle from two boys.
The woman said that on arriving home, she told her children about the abduction. She alleged that shortly after, a vehicle, which she recognised as her employer’s, stopped outside her home.
Mangal said that she immediately fled through her back door and hid in some bushes. She said that the occupants blew the vehicle’s horn for a few minutes before leaving.
Mangal said that she went to the Ministry of Human Services on Monday and subsequently spoke to an official at the US Embassy.
The woman clamed that she was at first reluctant to return to the Sparendaam Police Station but eventually did so yesterday and gave a signed statement. She also handed over the duct-tape to the police.
A police official said that they were hampered in their investigations by the fact that Mangal had not returned immediately to the station.
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