Sat | May 25, 2019

Family reaches out to businessman’s kidnappers in T&T

Published:Tuesday | May 14, 2019 | 12:22 AM
Yohan Chin
Yohan Chin

The family of kidnapped Jamaican businessman Yohan Chin has placed a newspaper advertisement in the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, ramping up efforts for a reunion as investigators continue to probe drug links to the case.

In the advertisement, the family publicly appealed to the kidnappers to make contact to complete negotiations for a safe return.

There are reports that the family had been negotiating with the kidnappers on their own without involving the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. However, calls went cold for the last two weeks, prompting the placement of the advertisement. The kid­nap­pers are said to be well con­nect­ed and are be­lieved to be re­spon­si­ble for oth­er kid­nap­pings in the past.

It is believed that Chin was lured to Trinidad and Tobago by kidnappers on April 10 under the pretence of sealing a new business deal. Four days later, he was reportedly taken from his home at Palmiste in San Fernando by men wearing ski masks and two with the word ‘Police’ on their hats.

“We learned that he had been look­ing for ad­di­tion­al land to cul­ti­vate the prod­uct for his busi­ness and some­one called him while he was out [of] the coun­try and told him that they could as­sist him in find­ing land to do this. It’s no co­in­ci­dence that when he re­turned to ne­go­ti­ate the deal that he was tak­en four days lat­er,” an intelligence source told The Trinidad Guardian.

The source explained that Chin had a medicinal licence in Cana­da to dis­trib­ute marijuana to peo­ple with illnesses and that his family has a chain of busi­ness­es in that country and Jamaica.

CONTACT AFTER KIDNAPPING

Two days after Chin was kidnapped, a business partner reported the matter to the police. He said that Chin had made contact with him, saying he was at an unknown location and requested that the business partner organise to have $400,000 sent to him without informing the police. He said Chin did not indicate it was ransom money.

He said Chin later called him and instructed him to organise a further US$6 million by selling his Porsche Panamera, Mercedes-Benz, and a piece of land.

The business partner was detained by law-enforcement officers for several days before being released. Last week, he was again detained and questioned for 72 hours according to media reports, but was later released. He has since changed his vehicle and is said to be in hiding.

The Guardian has also reported that a source has disclosed that one of Chin’s acquaintances was involved in a drug theft and he was be­ing held captive until the drugs and ran­som are paid in full.

So far, Chin’s Mercedes-Benz has been sold, along with a Porsche, as family and friends try to raise mon­ey to meet the kidnappers’ de­mands.

With the trail gone cold and leads drying up, investigators are uncertain whether the businessman is alive and are still unable to say where he has been held at one point or another.