(INEWSGUYANA) – The Trinidadian who reportedly came to Guyana and faked his own kidnapping was earlier today (Tuesday) remanded to prison when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.
Sawak Maraj, 33,-who said he is a mechanical engineer- pleaded not guilty to the charge which alleged that on October 27, 2017, at Madewini Resort, Timehri, he conspired with persons to obtain $US700,000 as ransom for his kidnapping.
The Police Prosecutor objected to bail citing the seriousness of the offence and the fact that Maraj poses as a flight risk.
Bail was denied and the accused in expected to return to court on November 16, 2017.
INews had previously reported that Maraj’s parents, in Trinidad, received a call hours after their son arrived in Guyana indicating that the man had been kidnapped.
The caller reportedly demanded the aforementioned sum of cash for Maraj’s safe return.
The unidentified caller who is suspected to be another Trinidadian reportedly sent a photo of Maraj, shirtless and with a cutlass to his neck.
A report was made to the Guyanese police and enquiries disclosed that Maraj came to Guyana on a Caribbean Airlines flight about 07:00h on Friday last, and was scheduled to be accommodated at Ramada Hotel, Providence, East Bank Demerara.
However, he never arrived at the hotel.
Even though it was initially doubted, it was later revealed that the kidnapping may have been staged.
Acting Crime Chief, Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Williams, had said that this is Maraj’s first time in Guyana, and he (Maraj) claimed he was in receipt of a letter via email to attend a job interview with US oil giant ExxonMobil.
“He said (that) during telephone conversations, the person talking to him had a Trinidadian accent. So when he came to Guyana, he expected to meet that person, but then he didn’t meet that person, he was picked up by two other persons,” Williams related.
Detectives went down to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), where they obtained CCTV footage of Maraj entering a taxi. The driver of the car was tracked down, and took investigators to the resort where he had dropped the men off.
This publication understands that the driver told detectives that he was hired by the two Trinidadians at the airport on Wednesday, and took them to the resort, where they indicated to him that they had another person to pick up two days later, which he did.
According to Williams, during the interview with Maraj, the police were told that those two persons who had picked him up from the airport were also Trinidadians.
Further investigations by local authorities revealed that the two Trinidadians arrived in Guyana on Wednesday last, and Maraj was reportedly in contact with them prior to his arrival here.
The police are now on the hunt for the two Trinidadian suspects, who reportedly escaped from the resort moments before the police arrived. “When we got there, he alone was in the room. He said they didn’t too long flee, as the police arrived,” the acting Crime Chief had said.
Meanwhile, this publication was also informed that Maraj was involved in a similar incident back home in 2001, where his family had to pay alleged kidnappers $200,000 (Trinidadian dollars) for his release.