taken

Taken: Sofia Rivas

 BABY SOPHIA Rivas is safe, as she was found by police and rescued from kidnappers at an apartment at Curepe on Tuesday night.

The nine month old infant, whose parents are a young Venezuelan couple, was rescued by a joint police team whose investigations led to an apartment at McInroy Street around 10.50 p.m., hours after she was taken from her parents' home at Longdenville.

The woman who allegedly kidnapped her, and three other men who police suspect were involved in the crime, were arrested.

The female suspect is a 19 year old woman of Esperanza Village, California.

Police said that baby Sophia was playing in the apartment when they found her.

She was taken for medical treatment, then and reunited with her parents.

Police said that a ransom of $20,000 which was demanded for the child, was not paid.

Officers also uncovered during the investigation that the child would have been a victim of human trafficking, as she was meant to be sold by the kidnappers.

The infant's mother, Valentina Hernandez, 18, said the woman came to her apartment around 7.30 a.m. and after a friendly chat, offered to take nine-month-old baby Sofia to the supermarket, which is on the compound of the apartment complex.

CCTV (closed-circuit television) camera footage shows the woman walking through the aisles of the supermarket with the baby, then leaving in a silver station wagon with the licence plate PCU 6452.

When Hernandez realised considerable time had passed and the woman had not returned with her baby, she reported the kidnapping to the Longdenville police.

Police said that later that day, the parents received a phone call from the female suspect demanding $20,000 for the child's safe release.

Last night, the child was recovered during a joint police operation led by Snr Supt Kurt Simon, together with ASP Michael Pierre, Insp Raghoo, Sgts Nelson, Basant, Cielto, Badree, and officers of the Central Division CID Operations Unit, Central Division Gang Unit, Central Division Task Force , Anti Kidnapping Unit, Special Investigations Unit, and Cyber Crime Unit.

Sgt Andrews is continuing investigations.

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