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Wednesday 16 January 2019
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Puff n’ Stuff owner relieved

FREED kidnap victim Gregory Laing spent all of yesterday surrounded by friends and relatives at his St Joseph Village, San Fernando home and expressed relief that he was back with his wife Julie and other loved ones .

In a brief telephone interview, Mrs Laing told Newsday that when she learnt her husband was kidnapped she began praying in earnest .

Yesterday, her prayers continued but this time they were prayers of thanksgiving. She said that Thursday was a very trying time for the family, but because of their faith in God, they knew things would turn out all right. She said when her husband arrived home on Thursday night, he had a hot meal and slept soundly throughout the night .

Gregory, she said, is a bit traumatised with a few bruises and has not yet spoken about what he endured at the hands of his abductors. “We are not rushing him to speak about the event because we know he needs some time to deal with this experience,” she said. “When he is ready we will listen to him.” Newsday was told that Laing is expected to be interviewed by members of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit (AKU) this weekend. They opted not to do the interview on Thursday because the businessman was too shaken at the time .

A source revealed that members of the Cyber Crime Unit, who are assisting the AKU, were able to trace the suspects however up until yesterday no arrests were made. Laing, 53, was taken from outside his business place Puff n’ Stuff at Circular Road, San Fernando at about 3 am on Thursday. Police believe he was kept at different locations between Beetham and Barataria .

Relatives received a call asking them to go to a track at Phase One, Beetham to drop off $30,000 - part of the ransom payment. The rest of the money amounting to $240,000 was dropped shortly before 5pm on a pavement opposite the TATECO Credit Union in Barataria. Laing was then released shortly after 5pm at the eastern lane of the Beetham Highway .

Meanwhile, effective yesterday, Puff n’ Stuff reduced its business hours to the public. In a post on the bakery’s Facebook page, it stated that effective yesterday the new business hours will be 6 am - 6 pm .

Previously, the business closed at 8 pm. Police reports are at about 4 am on Thursday, a female worker arrived at work and discovered Laing’s Mercedes Benz sedan locked in the carpark. The car’s engine was idling and his keys as well as his cellular phone were on the ground a short distance away .

Laing was nowhere to be found and she immediately contacted police and relatives. The bakery was opened for business yesterday but no one opted to speak on the issue .

When Newsday visited his home, no one came out .

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