Kidnappings for ransom down
Friday 13th May, 2011
The Minister of National Security has confirmed a reduction in kidnappings for ransom in the last year.
Brigidier John Sandy made the statement during the second reading of the Bill entitled, "An Act to amend the Bail Act, Chap. 4:60 and the Kidnapping Act, Chap. 11:26" in the Parliament this afternoon.
This Bill seeks to amend the Bail Act and the Kidnapping Act by increasing the amount of time a person can be held with no evidence for the charge of kidnapping and by changing the existing penalty for the offence of kidnapping respectively.
In giving statistics for the past years, Brigidier Sandy said to date, for 2011, there were 38 kidnappings, with 2 being for ransom.
In 2010, there were 112 kidnappings and 7 kidnappings for ransom, and for 2009, there were 147 kidnappings and 8 kidnappings for ransom reported.
The Minister gave the figures as he called for stiffer penalties for those involved in kidnapping, one of which would be life in prison for those found guilty of the offence, and another, to detain a person suspected of a kidnapping offence for 120 days.
However, the Opposition MP, Colm Imbert, took issue with the Minister's statements and questioned the motive for stiffer penalties, especially if 'kidnapping for ransom' had significantly declined as he stated.
"What is the rationale for increasing the penalties? That is what we want to hear from the Minister. We want to know why? If kidnapping has almost beens exterminated in Trinidad and Tobago, why are you bringing legislation now, so that a person who has been detained without evidence for 120 days?"