Minister of Health and International Business, Nickolas Steele has confirmed that communication is taking place between the Governments of Grenada and Venezuela in relation to alleged kidnapping of a Grenadian and his Union Island friend about a month ago on the high seas.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the Venezuelan kidnappers have demanded a ransom payment of US$30, 000.00 for the release of the Soubise, St Andrew resident Marlon Garraway and the other captive.
Speculation is rife that the two were kidnappd by a Venezuelan Gang following a drug deal that went sour with some locals including a prominent figure on the sister isle of Carriacou.
A video was circulated on Social Media in which Garraway was heard calling some names and begging them to pay the monies owed to the alleged kidnappers for them to be released.
A second video was released last week in which Garraway and the other man were seen with their hands bound and being pistol whipped by one of the kidnappers who was demanding money to secure their freedom.
Speaking to reporters at last Tuesday’s post-Cabinet Press Briefing held at the Ministerial Complex, Minister Steele said that information surrounding the alleged kidnapping issue is not forthcoming.
He said: “I too have seen the videos on social media. There has been interaction/communication between the government and the Venezuelan Government. As you realise it is difficult to ascertain the authenticity (of the video) but one family has identified the individual…”.
“ (It is) extremely difficult and matters like this where there is a possible or there is an alleged kidnapping etc, it’s a national security issue and the police and national security of both countries are not … forthcoming with information but I can say that there has been direct communication, government to government on the matter,” he added.
A well-placed source told this newspaper that those being held hostage by an alleged Venezuelan drug gang could be released soon based on diplomatic dialogue between the two governments.