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Cousins’ kidnapping a fake, relatives held

Saturday, August 26, 2017
Brandon Sam and his father Preston during a recent family vacation.

Two relatives were detained and being questioned by police yesterday in connection with what is being labelled a fake kidnapping by the police service.

The police service’s labelling came hours after Brandon Sam, 14 and Darryl Lutchman, 16, were found in a galavanize room at Penal Rock Road, Penal, late Thursday by police officers from Sangre Grande CID and Anti-kidnapping Unit. Both Sam and Lutchman were reported to be in good spirits and they were taken to the Sangre Grande District Hospital where they were medically examined and given a clean bill of health.The teens were handed over to their respective mothers by investigators around 3 am yesterday.

Police reported that around 9.30 pm on Thursday and acting on information received, Insp Ken Lutchman, Sgt Harper, Cpl Randy Castillo, Jason Osouna, PCs Samuel, Seenath and WPC Hostings, of the Sangre Grande CID and Task Force, along with AKU members journeyed to Penal Rock Road where they entered a one-room galvanize shed and found Sam and Lutchman. They were sitting on a chair and unharmed.

The men who allegedly abducted the teens had demanded a $350,000 ransom for their release. The kidnappers had also warned the boys’ relatives that if their demand was not met by this time they would harm their loved ones.

The teens, along with relative Deokumar Lutchman, were reportedly bundled into a car by two armed men on the North Oropouche Road near the Non-Pariel Estate on Wednesday night. Deokumar was released a few hours later in Freeport. All three had been hunting a manicou on a plum tree at the time.

When the T&T Guardian contact Sam’s mother Ria Lutchman yesterday, she said she was at the Sangre Grande Police Station giving statements.

Preston Sam, father of Brandon, meanwhile told the T&T Guardian he was forced to rush back to Trinidad from St Kitts, but did not initially believe his former wife Ria’s story about his son’s abduction. He said adverse comments made about him on social media were unfair and he also asked his lawyer to take action against Crime Watch host Ian Alleyne for slander and bringing his character into disrepute.

“I love my son Brandon and recently took him to Miami, Florida, for holidays. I give him anything he asked for. I always take care of my child and support him in anything he needs,” Sam said.

He said he was reunited with his son yesterday at the boy’s uncle’s home.

“Brandon seems okay, acted normal and showed no signs of stress. He was the normal Brandon. I told him we will chat and left,” he said.

Snr Supt Garth Nelson, head of the Eastern Division, said their investigation had reached a tender stage, adding his officers went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the safe return of the teenagers.



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