ACTING Police Commissioner Milton Desir yesterday said his department is looking into claims that a St. Lucian male in his late teens – said to be Scott Atkins — was tortured by foreigners while in another country and that the act was videotaped.
Desir told reporters that his department began looking into the claims only after two females, claiming to be the teenager’s sisters, filed a report to the police.
“On Thursday, July 20, sometime in the evening, two females, who claimed they are the sisters of the individual in the video, indicated that he had gone to Trinidad. They knew he was at work in Trinidad and Tobago and that they received this video indicating he was kidnapped in Venezuela and that the kidnappers were demanding some money for his release,” Desir said.
Nearly four videos, each a minute’s duration or less of the teenager in various stages of torment, hit social media last week and immediately went viral.
Desir could not attest to the veracity of the videos, one of which showed the young man hanging upside down, his feet tied together by a rope extending upwards and being beaten while pleading to his family, especially his mother, to do something to alleviate his fear and pain.
Another video showed the teenager on the ground looking lifeless, all bloodied with two men, faces not shown, one holding what looked like a high-powered rifle pointed at the teenager’s head while the other held a chainsaw near the neck of the teen.
Another video shows the young man hanging by his hands under a straw-type roof with high-powered firearms aimed at his head, calling on his mother to tell someone named Shawn to pay his captors.
“Mommy, tell Shawn pay the people for me, please. Mommy, mommy, the people will kill me. Mommy, the people will cut my head. I do not want to die up here, Mommy, please, please, please tell Shawn to pay. I do not want to die here, mommy. Tell Shawn give me my life back,” the young man in the video is heard saying as he was repeatedly stabbed.
Desir said the sisters spoke of receiving the video of their brother being tortured and that his kidnappers were demanding money for his release. Desir said he could not disclose the amount of money being demanded by the captors. However, unconfirmed reports are that the amount is in the region of US$130,000.
Desir also could not say in which country the videos were made.
“In matters like this, we would go through our Ministry of External Affairs, which would assist us in the course of investigations,” Desir said.
He admitted to investigators being restricted in their investigations in this matter because the matter was not conducted in their jurisdiction.
Desir could not say much on the matter since it is now under investigation. But a taped voice message, which also has gone viral, in which a female is heard recounting the circumstances in which the teenager finding himself, is closely being examined by police.