– to face court tomorrow
Loretta Persaud, the computer student who was feared kidnapped, is alive and well and has admitted to staging her own abduction while demanding a $300,000 ransom for her release.
Persaud was located at around 02:15 hrs yesterday after a joint services team forced their way into the Lot 2065 Mittleholzer Street, Festival City home of a female friend of the missing teen.
Kaieteur News understands that the 18-old ‘kidnap victim’ from Unity Village, East Coast Demerara, was found hiding under a bed. According to sources, investigators had located the ‘hideout’ after tracing text messages that Persaud had been sending to relatives instructing about the delivery of her ransom.
Persaud, her 17-year-old friend and the friend’s parents were then taken into custody at CID Headquarters, Eve Leary.
Kaieteur News understands that at first, the teen alleged that four men had abducted her and forced her to demand a ransom for her release. But under interrogation she eventually apologised and told the truth.
“During the continuing investigations today (yesterday) Loretta Persaud admitted to the police that she had staged the kidnapping,” a police release said.
“The two females and the man have since been released and Loretta Persaud is presently in police custody.”
Kaieteur News understands that the teen is to be charged in connection with the hoax and may appear in court tomorrow.
The father of Persaud’s friend declined to comment when Kaieteur News contacted him following his release. Persaud’s relatives have also refused to comment.
Police sources said that content of the text messages concerning the ransom had tipped off investigators almost immediately that the kidnapping was staged.
According to a police official, the relatives were first instructed to deliver the ransom to the ‘kidnappers’ near Buxton, East Coast Demerara.
They were then told to hand over the ransom in the vicinity of the Botanical Gardens on Friday.
Several police ranks in plainclothes staked out the area but the ‘kidnappers’ failed to show up.
“The ransom was to be collected by hand…that’s how we knew that it (the ‘kidnapping’) was nonsense,” the official said.
Yesterday, some Festival City residents said that they realised that something was amiss when they observed a number of police ranks clambering into the house in which the teen was staying.
Others told Kaieteur News that a slim, bespectacled teen was a frequent visitor to the home of her 17-year-old friend.
According to one report, she was seen as recently as last Thursday, when relatives learnt that the police were searching for her.
Loretta left her home around 09:30 hrs on Wednesday for computer classes in Middle Street, Georgetown. She was seen in the vicinity of the University of Guyana, where she was reportedly planning to enroll.
Kaieteur News understands that an uncle received a text message on Thursday night from someone demanding $300,000 for his niece’s safe return. The message was sent from Loretta’s mobile phone.
It was only then that relatives informed police of Loretta’s disappearance.
According to a source, the family received several other text messages from the ‘abductors’.
Kaieteur News understands that Loretta, a former St. Joseph’s High student had indicated that she would have sent in an application form to the University of Guyana on the same day she disappeared.
Feb 26, 2020Narayan Ramdhani (The Kings University) and Priyanna Ramdhani (Olds College) were both selected to represent the Province of Alberta at CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association) national...
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