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Cruise boss held up by irate ‘passenger’
President of Boodram’s Travel and Ship-Ahoy cruises, Vicky Boodram, was forced to evacuate her office and seek police protection yesterday after an irate passenger allegedly held her hostage at gunpoint, demanding a cash refund for a cancelled ocean cruise. Boodram, who established Ship-Ahoy cruises last year, has found herself in difficulties after two highly publicised Carnival cruises scheduled for April and August were cancelled, leaving 4,500 passengers in a quandary.
Although Boodram has started refunding some passengers, many others have continued congregating at her offices on Dumfries Road, La Romaine, demanding they be paid immediately. In an interview, Boodram said she was fearful for her life after being held at gunpoint. She said on Monday around 6 pm, she was inside her office when a man walked in with a gun and pointed it at her. She added: “I told him if he shoots me or kills me, nobody will get their money. I do not plan to rob anybody of their money. I will pay back every cent.”
She explained that security officers already had left the compound when the gunman walked in. After making some calls, Boodram said she was able to pay the man who eventually left. A notice on the office read that all customers who had queries or needed information were free to call 757-5013 or 752-8014.Meanwhile, several passengers who lingered at the office threatened to find Boodram in her home if they did not get their money back.
One passenger said: “The authorities have to make sure that this woman does not leave the country. Her father has a travel agency so the Fraud Squad must make checks to ensure she does not leave.” Boodram said receipts were given to everyone who received cheques. She said despite the adversity, Ship-Ahoy cruises would weather the storm and would ensure that T&T benefitted from cruise liner tourism. She apologised for the delays in payments, saying there was a problem with the cash flow, which would soon be rectified.
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