Copper Bank Couple Gets Free With 15G In Cash

Tonight, three Corozalenos are lucky to be alive after a crazy kidnapping in Copper Bank village. It appears to have been planned with professional precision, executed with ruthless efficiency, and it didn't end until the captors got paid!

And so, right now, the Copper Bank family is in a sustained state of terror. And right that they should be: 3 of them were held up by 4 armed gunmen, who abducted 2 of them.

24 year-old Sabino Nah, his brother 32 year-old Eduardo Nah, and Eduardo's common-law wife, Roxanie Cruz had just gotten home last night just before 8 o'clock when 4 armed masked men barged into their compound, assaulted one of them, and ransacked the family's home and took Eduardo and Roxanie hostage.

Police responded as soon as they got the call, and today, the OC of the Corozal Police District explained what the officers found on the scene:

Supt. Andrew Ramirez, OC - Corozal Police
"About 7:35pm on yesterday's date whilst along with his brother Eduardo Nah and his sister-in-law Roxanie Cruz - on upon arriving at their residence Roxanie had apparently opened the gate in order for Eduardo to drive his 4Runner with Stann Creek license plates in the yard. Upon driving into the yard and into the garage and Mrs. Roxanie closing the gate, 4 masked individuals run into the compound armed with firearms whereby one on them hot Gabino to the head and told him to lie down. He was handcuffed to the back, thereafter he saw an opportunity to make good his escape in order to seek for help."

"Upon his returned a short while after he did not locate his brother, his sister-in-law nor the 4Runner belonging to his brother. About 12am on the 21st, Eduardo Nah arrived with his common-law-wife Roxanie where he was met by a team of police officers who were assigned to the residence waiting for the investigation."

Police from the Corozal and the Orange Walk Districts activated and the shut down the roadways while conducting extensive searches in the surrounding villages of the Corozal area. They didn't find anything, but in a stroke of good fortune the armed abductors released the couple, mostly unharmed, but not before getting $15,000 in cash from them.

Supt. Andrew Ramirez, OC - Corozal Police
"He along with his common-law-wife were placed inside their home where the assailants ransacked a room or two. They were subsequently placed in their 4Runner and headed towards the direction of Orange Walk Town. Unfortunately they ended up stopping in a cane field between the Progresso and San Estevan villages where he was interrogated concerning the whereabouts of some drugs, cocaine. He denied having knowledge of such substance. However he was relieve of what he reported to us as $15,000 cash. A demand was made to him for an additional sum of money in the near future. That date we have not yet gotten from him, but what we have at this point in time."

"The description that was given to us was that these individuals were of clear complexion speaking Spanish language. The Spanish language would be those consisting of Belizean Spanish."

So, as you heard the Commanding Officer from the Corozal Police District say, the captors, who are believed to be locals, questioned Eduardo Nah about drugs, and it was not until he handed that substantial amount of money that he and his wife were released. We asked Ramirez what answers the couple gave about how they managed to get that large sum of money together to hand over as a ransom to buy for their release. Here's what Eduardo Nah told police:

Daniel Ortiz
"Sir, did the victims disclose how is it that they manage to hand over such a large sum of cash of such a short notice in time?"

Supt. Andrew Ramirez, OC - Corozal Police
"They have indicated through the initial interview that Eduardo had recently sold a land and why he kept that amount at his house, I do not know. But that was his explanation as to why the quantum of money."

"I am glad to have these 2 individuals alive. The primary function of the police department is protection of life and property."

Police have investigated the origin of that chip, and they have recovered the handcuff, which they recovered from Sabino Nah, which was used to restrain him. That has also been sent for testing where it will be dusted for fingerprints and then cross-referenced with the police's AFIX fingerprinting system.

Again, police believe that the abductors are Belizeans, and at this time, they are following up on all leads. The surveillance footage which was captured at the Nah family home is also in police hands, and they are reviewing it.

Police granted that interview in Corozal late this evening - and so tomorrow we'll have a more detailed review of this very compelling and unusual event.

Channel 7