May 05, 2015 News
A 27-year old staff of the popular Bhena’s Footwear on Regent Street was released yesterday afternoon after being held captive by abductors who hours earlier had grabbed him outside the store.
Xanier Waaldjik turned up at the Brickdam Police Station just after 15:00 hours in good health, even as police were questioning two of the suspects.
Waaldjik was snatched just before 08:00 hours as he was about to report for work.
The incident occurred in the full view of members of the public, a few minutes before the store opened its doors for business.
From all indications the abduction stemmed from a family issue that originated over the weekend.
According to reports, Waaldjik was accused of being involved in the disappearance of a quantity of raw gold from a house he had visited a few days ago.
Kaieteur News understands that the owner of the gold solicited the help of the abductors who made moves to recover it.
Camera footage showed the abductors waiting near a parked car outside the store for their victim to arrive for work.
They then pounced on him as he was crossing Regent Street and forced him into the bronze coloured Toyota Corolla PLL 9811, before driving away, leaving onlookers, including other staff members shocked.
An employee of the store told this newspaper that she and Waaldjik were standing on the opposite side of the road waiting for the store to open.
They did not have the slightest clue that the men who were waiting outside the store, actually mingling with the other staff, would pose any danger.
“While we were crossing the road, a man come up to Xanier and grab him and pushed him into the car. I couldn’t do anything but scream,” the woman, who identified herself as a supervisor, told members of the media.
A security person attached to the store trailed the abductors along Regent Street and caught up with them a few corners away at Orange Walk, Bourda.
“I approached the vehicle with caution and say, ‘Man, y’all can’t do things like this, y’all can’t kidnap the man and carry the man away.’
De driver in de front seat tell me is a family matter and ask if I could stay away, but I say, ‘Man hear wha happen, I can’t stay away fuh something like this, y’all gat a staff in the car and I want the staff come out’,” said the store’s security.
Just then one of the abductors tapped the car window and when the security saw the barrel of a gun staring him in the face, he backed off.
“De window roll down and a man knock pon de glass and I recognize de nozzle of a firearm, so I backed off and I continue making a set of noise,” the security said.
The abductors then sped off with their victim while the store’s security man made his way to the Brickdam Police Station where he reported the matter.
The police immediately went into action and by midday they had located the car used in the abduction along with the driver. They were at a house on West Coast Demerara.
The driver claimed that after picking up Waaldjik, he dropped him and the other abductors off at a house at La Parfaite Harmonie and left.
Investigators then zeroed in on the relative who claimed to have lost the gold and placed her in custody.
A police source told this newspaper that the relative admitted losing the gold but insisted that she had nothing to do with the abduction.
However, investigators did not believe her story.
They were in the process of questioning the two suspects further, when Waaldjik turned up at the Brickdam Police Station.
He told a tale of being taken to a house where he was beaten and questioned about the missing gold.
“When they grab me and put me into the car, there was another guy inside and they ask me if I know him. They drive to Diamond and then they got a phone call and they turned back and headed over the Demerara Harbour Bridge,” Waaldjik recalled.
He said that after crossing the bridge, his abductors blindfolded him and took him into a house where they locked him in a room and began beating him.
“All I know was that they locked me in a room and started to slap me. They told me that I wasting their time,” Waaldjik said.
He stated that his relative who lost her gold also came to the house where she spent 10 to 15 minutes questioning him and talking to the abductors.
“She keep telling me, ‘find de gold, you know about it’,” Waaldjik said, adding that he kept denying the allegation against him.
It was after the relative left the West Demerara house that police managed to arrest her.
When the abductors learnt that the relative was arrested they quickly released Waaldjik. They realised that the police were closing in on them.
“Although the abduction was daring, these people are a pack of amateurs,” a police source said.
He vowed to get the other persons involved in the act, so that justice could prevail.
Up to late last night a traumatized Waaldjik was trying to obtain a medical certificate from the Diamond Diagnostic Centre.
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