GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tuesday October 31, 2017 – A Trinidadian man who allegedly faked his own kidnapping in Guyana has been remanded to jail.
Sawak Maraj, 33, who arrived in Georgetown on Friday, claiming he had a job interview with oil giant Exxon Mobil, has been charged with conspiring with two other Trinidadian nationals to obtain US$700,000 as a ransom for kidnapping.
According to Guyanese investigators, Maraj was picked up at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport last Friday by his compatriots who arrived earlier in the week. That same day, his relatives in Port of Spain reported they received a call from an unknown person who claimed that Maraj had been kidnapped shortly after arriving in Guyana, and a ransom was demanded to secure his release.
The man’s family also received a photograph showing Maraj, clad only in his boxers and socks, with someone holding a machete to his neck.
The family contacted the Guyana Police Force and agents from the force’s Major Crimes Unit reviewed surveillance video at the airport, which showed Maraj greeting the two Trinidadians and the three men getting into the same vehicle without incident.
Investigators successfully tracked the location of the phone which was used to make the ransom call and when members of the Major Crimes Unit rushed to the location, they found Maraj in an apartment “relaxing and sipping on beverages”.
Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Williams told online news outlet Guyana News Source that the man threw a towel over his face “in a shameful manner”, as the agents moved in.
The other Trinidadians were also found in the apartment and police took all three men into custody.
Guyanese police later informed Maraj’s relatives in Trinidad that he was found alive and the kidnapping may have been staged.
He appeared in court yesterday and was denied bail. He returns to court on November 16.