By RHONDOR DOWLAT Thursday, January 11 2007
ONE of seven suspects in the kidnapping of Xtra Foods Supermarket CEO Vindra Naipual-Coolman has given the police details of a fall-out between several members of a kidnapping ring who were behind the woman’s disappearance.
The man, who has been detained by the police for questioning since Sunday, said that one group was responsible for snatching Naipaul-Coolman and a second group was responsible for collecting the ransom and releasing her.
But trouble started when the first group, not only snatched her as she was getting out of her car at her Lange Park, Chaguanas home on December 19 last, but collected $1.5 million and did not share the money previously agreed with the second group.
One result of this rift is that the police are getting conflicting reports as members of the gangs, now detained by the police blame each other. Police believe that despite one suspect stating that Naipaul-Coolman had been chopped and shot, she might still be alive, with a private medical doctor, also linked to the gang, treating her.
The police also believe that many of the calls they are receiving about graves all over the country from Couva in Central to Diego Martin and including Monos Island, Belmont and several other places, are really decoys to enable the criminals to move Naipaul-Coolman from one place to the other in an attempt to get more money from the family.
Police also believe that the kidnappers are using three white B15 Nissan Sentra cars to keep on the move. They also suspect that Naipaul-Coolman has been disguised so that anyone seeing her would not recognise her.
The police are also questioning someone close to the family, as they continue concentrated attempts to find and rescue the woman.
Naipaul-Coolman was snatched outside her Lange Park, Chaguanas home on December 19. A ransom demand of $3 million was subsequently made in exchange for her safe release.
According to a police report, at 9 pm, Naipaul-Coolman pulled up in front of her Radix Street home in her SUV van when she was pounced upon by a gang of men who began shooting at the front passenger side of the vehicle. The report stated that Naipaul-Coolman fought the gunmen but was beaten during the struggle. She was eventually bundled up into a gold Almera car and driven away.
Since then there has been a nationwide search for her involving police, army, coast guard and private citizens. There have been several calls from organisations for increased mobilisation of all forces to locate Naipual-Coolman. Investigations are continuing.
There have been vigils and prayer meetings by several groups and individuals. Crimestoppers has offered a $100,000 reward for her release.
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