A twenty-three year old Computer Technician will be the first person to be tried under the recently approved Hostage Taking legislation, which provides for anyone convicted of such an offence on indictment to receive life imprisonment.
According to police, Leroy Aaron Andrew of San Souci, St George, is currently in police custody following a highly strategic response carried out during the early hours of 24 December when police investigations concluded that a ransom was being demand to release a businessman who was taken hostage.
Andrews’ swift apprehension was enabled after a businessman within St George received a call from another well known business associate after midnight, requesting ten thousand dollars with certain instructions as to where and how to drop off the money.
“After his colleague received the call, the businessman became suspicious and called the police,” said a top law enforcement official who explained that immediate investigation revealed that the businessman requesting the money was a hostage held at gun point.
“As a result, a controlled response was mounted by the Criminal Investigation Department and the Rapid Response Unit, where the suspect vehicle was intercepted on Observatory Road and immobilised. Though there were discharges of firearms, no one was injured in this high profile interception. The businessman was rescued without physical injury,” said a statement from the Royal Grenada Police Force.
Andrew is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday morning.
The offence of “Hostage Taking” was recently included as part the criminal code. It was one in a number of amended legislations Grenada had to approve in order to be compliant with the Financial Action Task Force which recommended that the island include domestic laws to severely penalise any person or group found guilty of human trafficking, migrant smuggling, environmental crimes, and piracy.
A hostage taker according to the law which was approved by legislators in October 2013, is a person who seizes or detains and threatens to kill, or to injure, or to continue to detain another person in order to compel a third person to do, or to abstain from doing any act as an express or implied condition for the release of the person.