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Kartikey Ramsundar, owner/operator of the Riverside Marina.

The kidnappers of Central businessman Kartikay Ramsundar, 40, are demanding a five-million-dollar ransom (US $750,000) for his safe return and claim he is being held captive in Venezuela until the ransom is paid.

Ramsundar was kidnapped at his business place, Riverside Marina Limited at Cacandee Road in Felicity last Wednesday around 2.40 pm after three men stormed the premises, in the presence of Ramsundar’s wife and a 36-year-old friend.

Investigators said he was beaten by one of the men who appeared to be armed with a firearm and then later dragged into a dark coloured Honda Civic.

Investigators later found the car burnt along Bernard Road in Felicity, but by then the kidnappers had disappeared without a trace.

Investigators familiar with the case told Guardian Media that according to a police report prepared by the Anti-Kidnapping Unit(AKU) a male relative of Ramsundar received a call last Saturday (October 16) from someone who indicated that they “had information that Ramsundar was being held on an island off Trinidad and they wanted US$20,000 to meet a La Guardia captain to negotiate the hostage release.”

Investigators also indicated that another person later joined the call and confirmed the same information to Ramsundar’s male relative.

The male relative indicated to the mystery callers then that he did not have “that type of money but he would see what he could come up with.” The callers said they would call back and the phone line then went dead.

The male relative informed police that it was a group WhatApp call and two of his other relatives were also on the line when the mystery callers spoke with him. He alleged that these men were possibly law enforcement officers- a claim which investigators said they are examining.

A senior investigator contacted by Guardian Media also authenticated the information that was contained in this report made to investigators.

Last Sunday the male relative again received a call via WhatsApp this time by a “Spanish sounding male voice speaking English” who told him, “we have yuh (***) three million or he dead.”

According to the information obtained by investigators, several text messages were also sent to Ramsundar’s family warning them about cooperating with the police, and claims were even made that the local police was somehow involved in assisting the kidnappers.

The kidnappers on that same day later demanded a ransom of US $750,000.

The kidnappers had promised once the sum was paid Ramsundar would have been freed on Monday, but that never materialised.

To convince the family that Ramsundar was still alive, they also sent a WhatsApp video as proof of life in which Ramsundar was seen sitting in a blue long-sleeved shirt and dark grey dress pants with a green coloured cloth as the backdrop.

In the video Ramsundar addressed his father, saying “Hello, hello daddy. How things? This is Karti. This is the 17th of October 2021. Ah liming here ah lil (sic) bit down in Margarita side. Yeah over and out.”

Investigators said they have been able to obtain CCTV footage from several cameras in the area showing the actual kidnapping and the men circling the area prior to the act.

Police are working with detailed descriptions as they search for the suspects, including one armed with a shotgun.

Acting Corporal Phillips of the Chaguanas CID and PC Dhoray of the AKU are continuing investigations into the case.