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July 15, 2014
Coreas executive lucky to be alive after being abducted

Having survived a night of terror at the hands of three gunmen, business executive Jimmie Forde is said to be physically okay and grateful to be alive.

The evening of Saturday, July 12, had started pleasantly enough for Forde, who is the manager of the food division of Coreas Hazells Inc and the chairman of the board of directors of the Postal Corporation.{{more}} He had spent the evening at the Victoria Park at a comedy and soca show, in the company of friends.

At about 1:25 Sunday morning, before the show had come to an end, Forde decided to leave the Park, and walked to his vehicle, a white Nissan Tiida, which was parked along North River Road, a few yards from the Verbeke Centre.

According to a well-placed source, Forde, in his early fifties, was already seated in the vehicle, when two men, wearing bandanas over their faces, rushed to the vehicle on either side, opened the doors and pointed guns at his head.

The gunmen pulled Forde out of the driver’s seat of the car, took away his licensed firearm and threw him into the trunk of the vehicle.

The two men then jumped into Forde’s car and drove off in a north-easterly direction towards Block 2000, following which they took several turns along bumpy terrain, causing Forde to become disorientated.

Forde, a resident of Belair, told the source that the men drove around for about half an hour, making just one stop to pick up another person.

From the trunk of the car, Forde could hear his abductors speaking as they drove along, so he was afraid that if he made a call from his mobile phone, they would hear him. He therefore instead sent text messages to two persons, one a relative, the other a co-worker, telling them that he had been kidnapped, but did not know where he was, as he couldn’t see.

The persons whom Forde texted contacted the police, and according to the source, the police and Forde’s relative tried to call him back. Forde’s phone began vibrating, but he was afraid to answer it, so he wrapped it in a piece of plastic and hid it under the spare tire.

A source told SEARCHLIGHT that the police were driving around looking for Forde, and had searched several areas, including the Fenton mountain area in their quest.

The abductors finally stopped at Sion Hill Bay, where they removed a terrified Forde from the trunk of the vehicle and stripped him naked.

“They even removed his shoes,” the source told SEARCHLIGHT.

They forced Forde to kneel, and pointed three guns at him.

“One to his head, one to his back and one to his side,” the source said.

According to the source, one of the gunmen boxed Forde on one side of his head and told him he had “enough fat to take bullets.”

He was then asked if he had children and if he wanted to see them again.

The men searched through Forde’s belongings and took $800 in cash, but left him with his watch and wedding band.

The abductors then demanded that Forde give them the PIN to his debit card if he wished to see his children again. They warned him that if he gave them the wrong PIN, they would kill him.

Forde gave the men the PIN, and two of them took off in the vehicle, leaving one to stand guard over Forde.

As fate would have it, when the gunmen went to Forde’s bank, CIBC FirstCaribbean, the system was down, and they were unable to access any cash.

Eventually, the two who had gone to the bank came back, and using a lanyard they found in the back of the vehicle, the three men tied Forde’s hands behind his back. They also tightly wound two T-shirts over his face.

The three then sped away in the Nissan Tiida, leaving Forde lying face down, tied up, unable to see and hardly able to breathe.

As he was lying in the sand trying to loose his hands, at times Forde felt as though he would suffocate and pass out. He eventually managed to loose his hands, then remove the T-shirts from over his head.

Not knowing where he was, Forde began to wander around, and at one point, climbed a tree when he saw a light approaching, out of fear that the men were coming back to kill him.

The source said Forde thought he was perhaps at Prospect or Brighton beach.

Using one of the T-shirts that the men had used to cover his face, Forde made a makeshift skirt to cover his nakedness and began to walk through the bushes along the beach.

Help didn’t come until shortly before 5 a.m., when Forde saw a light go on at a nearby house. He walked towards the house and shouted for help.

The residents then called the police.

Police recovered the battered and bruised Nissan Tiida yesterday, July 14, in the New Montrose area. It had suffered damage to the windshield and to the right front door. It also had scratches all over its body. The vehicle was discovered without licence plates.