Four members of abducted Trinidad family at safe house

Aaron and Paola Sanchez-Sooknanan

(Trinidad Guardian) Three mem­bers of the Sook­nanan fam­i­ly and their rel­a­tive were dis­charged from the San Fer­nan­do Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal on Sun­day night. How­ev­er, the head of the fam­i­ly unit, Aaron Sook­nanan, re­mained ward­ed un­der po­lice guard at the hos­pi­tal nurs­ing in­juries he sus­tained dur­ing their or­deal. In­ves­ti­ga­tors said he was be­ing kept in an area away from the gen­er­al pub­lic as there may still be a threat to his life.

Sook­nanan’s wife Pao­la Sanchez-Sook­nanan, 26, their chil­dren Ri­car­do, five, Is­abel­la, three and the moth­er’s cousin Rox­an­na Gon­za­les, 37, a Venezue­lan na­tion­al, were dis­charged and are stay­ing at an undis­closed lo­ca­tion. In­ves­ti­ga­tors said the fam­i­ly was do­ing well, but they were very trau­ma­tised by the in­ci­dent.

Sook­nanan was se­vere­ly beat­en dur­ing their 33-hour or­deal af­ter gun­men broke in­to their home at Jhu­lai Trace, Pe­nal Rock Road, Pe­nal, and ab­duct­ed them.

The en­tire fam­i­ly was al­so treat­ed for cuts and bruis­es as they were as­sault­ed both in their home and in the for­est where they were held hostage.

While a mo­tive for the kid­nap­ping was not giv­en, po­lice said they were told of a pos­si­ble per­son­al griev­ance.

On Sat­ur­day, hours af­ter the kid­nap­ping, Pe­nal CID ar­rest­ed two men from the area with a ve­hi­cle that was linked to the crime. An­oth­er sus­pect was held on Sun­day night, but af­ter hours of in­ter­ro­ga­tion he was re­leased.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors are search­ing for three more sus­pects they be­lieve aban­doned the fam­i­ly in the for­est as they got word the po­lice were clos­ing in on their lo­ca­tion. Up to last evening, no fur­ther sus­pects had been ar­rest­ed and the man­hunt con­tin­ued for the three ad­di­tion­al sus­pects.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, the fam­i­ly was at their Jhu­lai Trace, Pe­nal home on Sat­ur­day around 2 am when a group of men broke in and forced the fam­i­ly in­to a ve­hi­cle. Around 6.30 am a neigh­bour called Sook­nanan’s moth­er Za­la­ca Sook­nanan, say­ing they had not seen the fam­i­ly and felt some­thing was wrong af­ter screams were heard at the house. Za­la­ca re­port­ed the in­ci­dent to po­lice and when po­lice checked the house, no one was at there and the home was ran­sacked.

In an op­er­a­tion co­or­di­nat­ed by Snr Supt Neville Adams, a team com­pris­ing of Sgt Jag­ger­nauth, Sgt Gokool, Cpl Ba­jhan, PC Khalil and WPC Mo­hammed lo­cat­ed the ve­hi­cles in­volved in the ab­duc­tion and ar­rest­ed two sus­pects late Sat­ur­day.

As the of­fi­cers worked in­to the night gath­er­ing in­tel­li­gence and clos­ing in on their lo­ca­tion in the for­est in Bar­rack­pore, it is be­lieved the kid­nap­pers got word the po­lice were close to their lo­ca­tion in the for­est in and bolt­ed Sun­day, leav­ing the fam­i­ly be­hind.

The Sook­nanans sub­se­quent­ly trekked sev­er­al hun­dred ki­lo­me­tres through the for­est un­til they were found off Oropouche Road Trace, South Bar­rack­pore by of­fi­cers from the South West­ern Di­vi­sion Po­lice and Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Re­sponse Team.

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