Kidnap & Ransom update – April 22, 2019
22-Apr-19

AMERICAS

1. (TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, 14/04/19) Jamaican businessman kidnapped in San Fernando

On 14 April, a 36-year-old Jamaican businessman was kidnapped from his home in Palmiste, San Fernando. According to police, a group of men donning police uniforms stormed his residence in the early morning and transferred the victim, Yohan Chin, to an unknown location. The kidnappers forced Chin to call his business partner to organize USD 400,000 for his release. A secondary call was made by Chin to his business partner on 16 April, claiming that the ransom had been upped to USD 6 million, and that the business partner should contact their lawyer to begin arranging the sale of assets to meet the ransom demand. Chin has not been heard from since and a police investigation is underway. The business partner was detained for questioning. FULL ARTICLE

EUROPE

2. (RUSSIA, 22/04/19) Tajik national kidnapped in Moscow

A Tajikistan national was kidnapped in Moscow upon his release from a detention center. The victim had been held in pre-trial detention for a year for allegedly spending six months in an Islamic State training base in Syria. Upon his release from detention in Moscow, the Tajik national was forced into a car and driven to an unknown location, as depicted in a video of the incident. It is possible the victim was forcibly detained by Tajiki authorities and extradited to Tajikistan. FULL ARTICLE

MIDDLE EAST

3. (LEBANON, 19/04/19) Increase in kidnapping of Syrian nationals in Lebanon

On 19 April, members of a Lebanese criminal gang kidnapped a young Syrian man called Mohammed Osama in Aanjar whilst he was travelling from Syria to Beirut. The victim was reportedly driving at the time of the kidnapping, and forced into a jeep that drove him toward northern Bekaa. His fiancé, who was also in the car during the incident, was released unharmed. Family members were reportedly contacted and a ransom of USD 1 million demanded to secure Osama’s release. Over the past two weeks, the Lebanese army has reportedly rescued two Syrian minors who were also kidnapped for ransom in Bekaa. Syrian refugees are increasingly becoming the victims of such crimes in recent months in Lebanon. FULL ARTICLE (1)

AFRICA

4. (GHANA, 18/04/19) Estonian Consular General kidnapped and then freed in Accra
On the evening of 18 April, the Consular General and Head of Mission of Estonia to Ghana, Nabil Makram Basbous, was kidnapped whilst walking in the neighbourhood of Wangara in Labone, Accra. The 61-year-old was reportedly taking a health-walk around the area of his residence, when a car pulled up next to him and an occupant with a gun forced the victim inside. He was kept hostage at a house in Lashibi, a suburb of Tema. Police subsequently received information pertaining to the location of the hostage from neighbours of the criminals. Approximately an hour after Basbous was kidnapped, police attempted to storm the residence of the perpetrators in Lahibi, though met with resistance. The criminals then reportedly fled the scene, leaving Basbous behind. They had been attempting to gather a ransom for his release, though the ransom figure has not yet been disclosed. Police are currently searching for the three criminal kidnappers, who are believed to be Nigerian nationals. FULL ARTICLE (1)

5. (NIGERIA, 19/04/19) British aid worker killed, four tourists abducted

Late on the evening of 19 April, gunmen stormed the Kajuru Castle Resort to the southeast of Kaduna City, killing two aid workers – one of whom was a British national. They also kidnapped five local tourists, who were amongst a group of 13 that had arrived from Lagos, though one managed to escape. While no ransom demands have been issued as of yet, kidnapping for ransom has become increasingly prevalent in Kaduna, particularly on the road to Abuja. As such, it assessed highly likely that the attack was financially motivated. A police investigation into the abductions and killings has been launched. FULL ARTICLE (1)

6. (NIGERIA, 18/04/19) Gunmen kill one and abduct nine in Niger state

On the night of 18 April, gunmen kidnapped eight women and a man from a residence in the Munya Local Government Area of Niger state, and transferred them to an unknown location. The attack occurred during a reported wedding party, and also involved the gunmen shooting two male victims, one of whom is believed to have subsequently died from his wounds. On the following day, relations of the abductees received a telephone call from the perpetrators demanding a N800 million (USD 2.2 million ransom) for their release. They have appealed to the state government to assist in the rescue of the kidnap victims as there is no way they would be able to raise the funds to secure their release. FULL ARTICLE

7. (NIGERIA, 18/04/19) Canadian kidnap victim confirms ransom was paid for his release

Last week, 52-year-old Canadian kidnap victim, Kyliuk Morris, confirmed that police in Ogun State assisted in the delivery of a N2.5 million (USD 7,000) ransom to his kidnappers to secure his freedom. Morris was kidnapped on 13 March 2019 in the Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State whilst on his way to Ibadan. He was travelling with his wife to fix his car when gunmen ambushed them and began shooting. Morris’s wife managed to escape, though Morris was captured and spent six days in captivity in the bush. He was forced to call his sister in Canada who put together the ransom payment to secure his release. The kidnappers also demanded a N20,000 (USD 55) ‘transportation’ fee, claiming it was dangerous for them to release Morris. FULL ARTICLE

ASIA

8. (PAKISTAN, 18/04/19) Gunmen kidnap and kill 14 bus passengers

On 18 April, a Pakistani official announced that unidentified gunmen killed 14 people in the southwest of the country, after kidnapping them from several passenger buses. A Baluch insurgent group has since claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement delivered to local media. In their statement, the group claimed that the attack targeted individuals carrying Pakistan Navy and Coast Guard identity cards. The passengers were traveling on a coastal highway from the financial hub of Karachi towards Gwadar, the Arabian Sea port town where China is building a deep-water port. Southwestern Baluchistan province has for a long time experienced violence, with Islamist insurgent and separatist groups continue to operate in the region. Baluch separatists claim that foreign interference is exploiting the region’s natural wealth at the expense of locals. FULL ARTICLE (1)