Andrea Bharatt

Mark Bassant

Four men have been detained by police officers of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) and the Anti-Kidnapping Squad(AKS) for questioning into the kidnapping of 23-year-old Andrea Bharatt.

The men ages 20-30 were held just after 11 am today – following information received by police.

The operation, which is spearheaded by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, led SORT officers under Sgt Mark Hernandez and the AKS to two separate homes in East Trinidad earlier this morning. Senior sources say one man was held at a home in Petit Bourg, while three men were later held at another home in Malabar.

“Personal belongings of the young lady were recovered at both homes,” said a senior police source speaking on the condition of anonymity.

However, the source said there was no sign of Bharatt and they were still pursuing “certain clues.”

“The investigation is still at a very early stage, but we are hoping for the best outcome,” the source told Guardian Media.

Bharatt, 23, employed as a clerk at the Arima Magistrate’s Court entered a taxi in King Street Arima with a fellow employee on Friday.

A few minutes later Bharatt’s friend was dropped off in Cleaver Heights. Arima.

Bharatt’s father became worried when she did not arrive home and made several calls to her phone but was unsuccessful in reaching her.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m. on Friday night he again called his daughter’s phone only to be greeted by a male voice on the other side of the line. The man told her father that if he was not paid some money, he would cut off Bharatt’s ears.

Her father later made a report to the Arima police station.

Following the incident, investigators were able to secure CCTV footage of the car in the Cleaver Heights area in an attempt to identify the driver described as an African male, dark complexion and slim built with a second male occupant also in the car who was also of African descent, dark complexion and medium built.

Investigators say they are scouring several areas in East Trinidad as they attempt to locate Bharatt and take her safely back to her family.