Two persons arrested in connection with the kidnapping of San Fernando businessman Gregory Laing have been released by police. Two others are still in custody and if not charged by 11.30 am on Saturday, they should be released.
A 17-year-old woman arrested on Saturday with two other men, at Alicia’s Guest House in Lady Chancellor Hill, was released later that night while a man of Picton Road, Laventille, was released late on Thursday night.
Two other men who were also arrested on Saturday, have filed writs of habeas corpus in the High Court to have the police justify their continued detention.
In an order following an hour-long hearing, Justice Ricky Rahim said while he is satisfied the continued detention of the two was not unlawful, if no charges are laid against either by 11.30 am today, they must be released.
According to senior State attorney Neil Byam, the police required additional time for the transcription of phone calls intercepted as well as to tie up loose ends in their investigations.
It was also revealed one of the two was held with $2,500 linked to a $270,000 ransom paid for Laing’s release as well as a mobile phone used by the kidnappers, while the other, an Imam, was linked to the phone calls intercepted by police.
It was also revealed the warrants for the interception of these phone calls were obtained by police and approved by a judge of the High Court.
The two men were represented by attorneys Criston J Williams and Karunaa Bisramsingh.
A joint team of police officers swooped down on Alicia’s Guest House last week Saturday, surrounded two rooms and detained three of seven suspects in Laing’s kidnapping.
Officers searched two rooms and detained the three suspects who were in possession of cash, cell phones and other valuables. All seven suspects were taken to different police stations and were being questioned by a joint team of police officers. The arrest of the seven suspects came after hours of surveillance following Laing’s release on Thursday afternoon.
Laing, 53, the owner of Puff n’ Stuff chain of bakeries was snatched from outside his San Fernando branch around 3 am two Thursdays ago.
Relatives were contacted by a kidnapper who demanded $270,000 for his safe return. Hours after the kidnapping, relatives went to Phase 1 in Beetham and paid $30,000.
Later that evening, they paid $240,000 in Barataria. Laing was subsequently released.