Kidnap & Ransom update – April 2, 2019
2-Apr-19

AMERICAS

1. (CANADA, 01/04/19) Arrest warrant issued against one of the suspects in kidnapping of Chinese student

Police investigating the alleged kidnapping of a Chinese student in north Toronto said they managed to identify one of the four suspects and that a Canada-wide warrant for the man has been issued. The authorities said the suspect was identified as Abdullahi Adan, a man known to the police and who is described as “armed and dangerous”. However, it was not specified whether the said suspect had ties with the victim prior to the kidnapping. The search for the other three suspects is ongoing. Wanzhen Lu was abducted from the parking of his condominium in Toronto on 23 March. He was released unharmed after 72 hours in unknown circumstances. FULL ARTICLE (1)

2. (MEXICO, 01/04/19) Honduras consulate reports kidnapping of 14 Honduran migrants

The Consulate of Honduras in the city of Veracruz denounced that a group of 14 Honduran migrants remain in captivity, over a month after their kidnapping in Veracruz State. The Hondurans were abducted in two different instances in the municipalities of Coatzacoalcos and Minatitlán in late February. Reportedly, the Mexican authorities have already opened a case file on the incidents and investigations are underway. FULL ARTICLE

3. (COLOMBIA, 01/04/19) Employee of wind energy company kidnapped in La Guajira

The legal adviser of a wind energy firm located in a municipality of Guajira province, northern Colombia, was kidnapped by a group of heavily armed men on 30 March. Ricardo Maclaren was walking home after work when he was intercepted by a group of men in a van who approached him pretending to be selling goods. He was then forced into the vehicle at gunpoint and taken to an unknown destination. According to some indigenous people living in nearby communities, the kidnappers fled towards Venezuela. This information was corroborated when the vehicle used in the kidnapping was later found near the border with Venezuela. Local authorities have offered a COP 50 million (USD 15,800) reward for any information that could lead to the victim’s location. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2)

MIDDLE EAST

4. (KUWAIT, 01/04/19) Young Kuwaiti abducted and tortured

Police in the Kuwaiti city of Al-Ahmadi have filed a case against a local national for abducting and torturing a 22-year-old compatriot. According to a security source, the Ministry of Interior received a report from the victim’s family that the youngster had not been or heard of for four days. Soon after the report was made, the victim appeared outside the family home, hands and feet bound, inside a vehicle. He said he had been kidnapped, held and tortured at an unidentified place for four days. Local authorities did not elaborate on the motive behind the abduction. FULL ARTICLE

AFRICA

5. (BURKINA FASO, 01/04/19) Foreign tourists abducted in Burkina Faso taken to Mali

A report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) has suggested that Canadian Edith Blais and Italian Luca Tacchetto were kidnapped and taken to Mali. The statements are based on information reportedly provided by Malian security sources on 13 January. No more details were provided. Canadian officials had previously stated they believe Blais is alive, in the absence of any reason or information proving otherwise, while Italian authorities continue the search for Tacchetto. The foreign tourists went missing while traveling through Burkina Faso in December 2018. No group has taken responsibility for their abduction. FULL ARTICLE