Kidnap & Ransom Update April 24, 2018
24-Apr-18

AMERICAS

1. (COLOMBIA, 22/04/18) Kidnapped businessman released in Cauca
Colombian authorities confirmed the release of businessman Isauro Rosales, co-owner of the company Cootranslaboyana, who had been kidnapped on 27 March. After 25 days in captivity, the businessman arrived by his own means to the Transportation Terminal of Popayán, from where he called his relatives. Local authorities have not revealed the circumstances of the businessman’s release, and it is unknown if there was a ransom payment. Rosales was kidnapped by four heavily armed individuals wearing military uniforms, who intercepted him and his family in a rural area east of Cauca. There is concern about the increase in kidnappings in the region, where at least other two businessmen remain in captivity. FULL ARTICLE

2. (NICARAGUA, 23/04/18) University headmaster held hostage in Managua
The president of the National Council of Universities of Nicaragua and headmaster of the Agrarian University, Telemaco Talavera, was held hostage at the facilities of the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI). Talavera was visiting the UPOLI to verify the situation of the university’s students after social networks reported an alleged confrontation with the National Police. Reportedly, as he arrived, Talavera confirmed that the reports were false and that there was no police presence. In order to stop him from reporting the facts, a group of students held him hostage, and allegedly had violent intentions. Talavera said he was let go after other groups of students interceded. The incident took place in the context of widespread civil unrest in the city. FULL ARTICLE (1)

AFRICA

3. (NIGERIA, 23/04/18) Dutch freighter attacked, hostages taken in Port Harcourt
Dutch ship owner ForestWave Navigation informed that their general cargo ship FWN RAPIDE was attacked by pirates in the morning of 21 April as it was about to enter the port of Port Harcourt. Pirates kidnapped 12 out of 14 crew members during the attack. The nationalities of the hostages has not been disclosed. Forestwave said it already had contact with the remaining crew on board and it had made arrangements to move the ship to a safe position. FULL ARTICLE (1)

ASIA

4. (GEORGIA, 22/04/18) Georgian illegally detained by separatist border guards
A citizen of the village of Kere, in the Gori Municipality of Georgia, was detained near the administrative boundary line with the separatist region of Tskinvali by so-called ‘border guards’. The detained citizen is currently in Tskhinvali’s police department. The Russian-backed separatist region of Tskhinvali calls the occupation line between Tskhinvali and the rest of Georgia ‘the state border’ and treats any cases of line crossing by Georgian locals as cases of ‘illegal border crossing’, even though the line is not well differentiated in some areas and has not been officially recognized. In most cases detainees are released after paying a fine which amounts to about USD 30. At least five Georgian citizens were illegally detained during last month in Gori municipality. Four of them have already been released. FULL ARTICLE

5. (MALAYSIA, 23/04/18) Curfew in ESSZone extended
The Malaysian authorities announced that the curfew in the waters off seven districts in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone), scheduled to end at 6pm on 23 April, has been extended to 9 May. The authorities said that the extension was based on information that the Abu Sayyaf group and other kidnapping gangs from the southern Philippines were still attempting to trespass to carry out kidnapping and other cross-border crimes. The curfew is enforced in the waters off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran. All those living in the affected areas should remain indoors, while outsiders would not be allowed to enter the waters between 6pm and 6am during the period. FULL ARTICLE