Kidnap & Ransom report – April 18, 2019
18-Apr-19

AMERICAS

1. (MEXICO, 16/04/19) Four suspects arrested in kidnap for ransom case in Ciudad Juarez

On 12 April, a gang of criminal kidnappers abducted a businesswoman in Ciudad Moderna and took her to a motel in La Cuesta neighbourhood, Ciudad Juarez, from where they reportedly demanded a ransom payment of 300,000 pesos (USD 16,000) from her relatives. She was held hostage for approximately nine hours before being released on Cesáreo Santos Street for unknown reasons. The victim was able to identify the four suspects, one of whom was her co-worker. They were arrested in the early hours of 13 April and tried two days later. It has not been disclosed if the ransom was paid. FULL ARTICLE

2. (MEXICO, 16/04/19) Man tried for kidnapping in Cuauhtémoc

On the night of 8 April, a 26-year-old man abducted a woman from the car park of a cinema in Cuauhtémoc. He forced her into a vehicle and drove her to an unknown address from where he contacted her relatives and demanded a ransom payment of 500,000 pesos (USD 27,000) for her release. The following day, the suspect moved the victim to a rural area adjacent the town of Ciénaga de Castillo and tied her to a tree. On 10 April, she was able to break free and escape and identify her kidnapper. He was arrested and charged on 16 April for kidnapping and extortion. FULL ARTICLE

MIDDLE EAST

3. (IRAQ, 15/04/19) Two brothers abducted by Islamic State

On 15 April, Islamic State (militants) abducted two Iraqi brothers in the northwestern province of Nineveh. The insurgents were reportedly dressed in military uniforms when they kidnapped the pair in al Baaj district. This MO has previously been observed in Iraq, and has on previous occasions been combined with the use of ‘fake checkpoints’ to block and kidnap motorists along highways – particularly in Salah ad-Din province. The number of kidnappings continues to rise in the country despite the territorial defeat of IS in December 2017. The group have, over recent months, conducted a number of high-profile abductions in Anbar province, likely facilitated by an influx of fighters infiltrating from Syria. FULL ARTICLE

4. (SYRIA, 17/04/19) Tensions in As Suwayda after increase in kidnappings

Tensions have recently been heightened in As Suwayda after an increase in kidnappings has been reported. Various armed groups, including Hezbollah, are thought to be behind the incidents as part of regional power-plays. In addition to a number of abducted civilians, prominent lawyer Mamdouh al-Said, who is also the son of the leader of a local clan, was also kidnapped. Moreover, the recent growth in recorded abductions resulted in two paramilitary factions engaging in an armed clash, with both sides blaming the other for the phenomenon. This involved members of the “Sheikh al-Karama” forces and the Al Mezher. FULL ARTICLE (1)

AFRICA

5. (BURKINA FASO, 14/04/19) PADEL officer kidnapped between Djibo and Arbinda

On 14 April, a group of gunmen kidnapped an employee of the Program of Support for the Development of Local Economies (PADEL) whilst he was travelling on the Djibo – Arbinda road. PADEL is a program initiated by the government of Burkina Faso in order to assist municipalities in developing improved economic infrastructure. The northern Sahel region, where the incident took place, has recently been experiencing increased levels of Islamist insurgency and is assessed a high kidnapping risk. FULL ARTICLE

6. (KENYA, 17/04/19) Cuban doctors pictured alive in Somali

Following the abduction of two Cuban doctors in Mandera by suspected Al Shabaab militants, RTN Somalia TV reported that the victims were pictured alive in a forested town near Barawe in Somalia, six days after they were kidnapped on 12 April. While further details have not been disclosed, it is believed the medics were pictured by surveillance teams who are part of numerous rescue operations launched in northeastern Kenya and across the Somali border. In other developments, the driver of the doctors has been detained for 15 days for his suspected involvement in the kidnapping incident. He is believed to have helped plan and facilitate the abduction by assisting the perpetrators. Furthermore, Cuban doctors deployed along the Kenyan border with Somalia are being evacuated following the kidnapping. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2) (3) (4)

7. (NIGERIA, 15/04/19) Lawyer kidnapped in Osun

On the evening of 15 April, a lawyer travelling to Akure from Ibadan was kidnapped along with his driver by armed bandits. Two female lawyers travelling with the victim were not abducted however. The incident occurred near Iwaraja in Osun state, when the gunmen blocked the road and fired intimidatory shots into the air. At present, no contact has been made by the kidnapper to the victim’s family, and therefore it is unlikely that any ransom demands have been issued. FULL ARTICLE (1)

ASIA

8. (BANGLADESH, 16/04/19) Bangladeshi fishermen kidnapped by Myanmar Border Police

On 16 April, four Bangladeshi fishermen were reportedly kidnapped along the Naf River near Jaliapara by a team of Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP). The BGP team approached the fishermen’s trawler on a speedboat, and forced them aboard at gunpoint. The owner of the trawler, who was not aboard at the time of the incident, subsequently received a telephone call from Myanmar allegedly demanding a USD 4,500 ransom for the release of the victims. The trawler owner informed the local police who are reportedly attempting to resolve the situation with Myanmar authorities. FULL ARTICLE

9. (PHILIPPINES, 15/04/19) 10 Chinese nationals rescued from kidnappers

On 15 April, ten Chinese men kidnapped by suspected members of a loan shark gang were rescued in Noveleta, Cavite. The victims were rescued from an apartment in Barangay San Antonio and five Chinese men and a Filipino were arrested. The victims had been abducted from casinos in Pasay after failing to pay back money they owed to the suspects. Some of the victims had been held captive for as long as seven days. FULL ARTICLE