$1.2 million paid for editor's son
Kidnappers treat Justin like family
By Sharmain Baboolal, tntmirror.com
Kidnappers of Justin Raymond-Guillen pulled in a cool US$200,000 (TT$1.2 million), a mere one-tenth of the record ransom demand of US$2 million, according to top cops.
And top-ranking officers, who spoke with TnT Mirror, said they are baffled by the rare demand for US currency made by the kidnappers.
They have pointed to several anomalies which, they said, made the Raymond-Guillen kidnapping unique in Trinidad and Tobago, given recent horrific trends.
"It means that the kidnappers knew that US dollars would have been readily available," the frustrated top-ranking cop told Mirror.
"We were running all over the place chasing leads because of the high-profile this case was given in the media, no doubt because Justin was the son of Guardian's Acting Editor, Judy Raymond.
"And we were especially worried about his physical well-being, knowing that he is a promising sportsman.
"Still, while we are relieved, we find it strange that they treated Justin almost as if he was family," the cop added.
"We have never heard of a kidnap victim being treated so well.
"He was handcuffed to a couch, with a fan and a radio, given regular meals, a change of clothes and even allowed to bathe.
"And when he showed up at the Barataria Police Station last Tuesday morning, he had nothing bad to say about his kidnappers, really.
"This is strange in light of the recent trend in which kidnap victims -- from much less wealthy families -- have been kept in holes in the ground, tortured and burnt with cigarettes and beaten in some instances.
"Some, who were held for shorter periods, including a man who escaped from a hole in the ground recently, had maggots in a wound.
"We do not wish that on anyone, but we are forced to ask why was Justin so lucky?" the cop wondered aloud.
"Is this a new trend?" he asked rhetorically.
"Of course, we are not for one moment accusing Justin of being in any collusion with the kidnappers.
"As far as we are concerned, he is a very decent young fellow."
In addition to those obvious questions, given the good treatment given to him, cops are also talking among themselves about how Raymond-Guillen was grabbed.
"We know that he was moving freely all over the West, the day before he was kidnapped," the top-ranker added.
"Justin went to the mall and was an easy target for anyone wanting to grab him.
"Why were these kidnappers so unprofessional that they put down a job in a place as vulnerable as a cul de sac?
"His mother's house at Sanora Park, Glencoe is located on a street with a dead end.
"Why did they take that kind of risk, to even stop and argue with him, as some reports said?
"Most kidnappers look for a swift getaway, and I believe that these guys were just too comfortable with their job.
"Maybe these questions will never be answered, but the kidnapping landscape is taking new twists and turns, and when big people like that are involved, the police feel helpless."
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