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Embassy driver kidnap suspect faces ID parades

Published: 
Saturday, July 15, 2017

With the arrest of a 31-year-old San Juan man in connection with the kidnapping of a Chinese national Sajio Zhang on Thursday, police are looking at other crimes reported by other Chinese nationals or descendants who may have been victims of the man.

Police are considering the actions of the man to be xenophobic, as he has been connected to at least one other similar matter. They are now calling on either Chinese nationals or descendants who may have suffered a similar fate to come forward to identify the man during an identification parade this weekend.

So far, the man is facing at least two kidnapping charges, one involving Zhang, the courier to the Chinese Embassy, and the other a bank employee who escaped from the trunk of his own car after he too was kidnapped last weekend.

Zhang, 57, was walking along Haye Street, St Clair, en route to the embassy on Elizabeth Street around 5.50 am Thursday when the suspect pulled alongside him and bundled him into the back seat of a white Honda City and whisked him away. The incident was reported around 7.30 am and the suspect was arrested along Damian Street, St James, just after 10 am, with Zhang still in the back seat. Damian Street is three streets away from Elizabeth Street. According to police sources, the Honda City which Zhang’s kidnapper used was stolen from his previous kidnap victim.

The suspect’s first kidnap victim, a bank employee with Chinese ancestry, was grabbed in the St James area and driven around by two men who demanded he withdraw cash from his account and give it to them. However, that victim managed to escape and ran into a business where he was assisted.

The suspect is currently being held at the Central Police Station, where he was interviewed by officers of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit. Police said they are satisfied the man does not seem to be part of a larger organisation. Attempts to contact the Chinese Embassy for a comment were unsuccessful yesterday, as the T&T Guardian was told officials were in a meeting.