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Students, 17, kidnap taxi driver

BY RALPH BANWARIE Friday, July 11 2014

Two 17-year-old students and a third, aged 20, face kidnapping, robbery and attempted murder charges after their victim lived to relate his ordeal at their hands to police.

Police sources said the three may be placed on identification parades this weekend where it is hoped the victim, a taxi-driver, can positively point them out so that they could be charged formally.

The youths, who attend a technical vocational school in east Trinidad, are in custody assisting detectives in their investigations into the kidnaping of the taxi driver who was thrown over a precipice and left for dead.

According to police, the three entered the vehicle of the 30-year-old taxi driver of Vega de Oropouche, Toco Main Road, at around 7pm last Sunday evening at the Vega de Oropouche taxi stand in Sangre Grande, telling him they wished to hire his vehicle for a trip.

The driver took off with the youngsters who later attacked and forced him to stop at the side of the road near the Charuma forest in Biche. One of the 17-year-olds commandeered the vehicle while the others continued to beat the driver. They then dragged the terrified man into the forests and on reaching a steep precipice overlooking a river, the threw him off a precipice overlooking a river, leaving him for dead. They then returned to the car and sped off.

The driver, police sources said, fell into the river and later swam to safety on the riverbank, hid under fallen branches and spent the night in the forest. His worried relatives later on Sunday night contacted police to report him missing. The taxi driver was rescued by farmers on their way to their gardens on Monday morning.

The driver was taken to the Sangre Grande District Hospital for treatment for minor cuts and bruises before reporting the incident at the Sangre Grande Police Station where he was also met by his relieved relatives.

Officers led by Cpl Nicholas Vialva, Cpl Randy Castillo and PCs Joel Boodoosingh, Ryan Sookdeo, Anwar Khan, WPCs Camille Francis, Jenelle Stephen, Kinda Clarke and Nicky Gonzales began investigations. Acting on information on Wednesday, officers arrested the three youngsters. Detective Cpl Randy Castillo of Sangre Grande CID is continuing investigations.

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