Kidnap & Ransom update – April 28, 2019
28-Apr-19

AMERICAS

1. (MEXICO, 26/04/19) Pirates invade, ransack oil platform in Campeche

On 21 April, a group of armed pirates invaded the oil platform Fortious, located off the city of Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche State, holding its employees captive for over six hours. According to reports, at least six armed men disguised as fishermen boarded the marine platform at about 21:00 local time, managing to enter the third floor, where the crew was housed. The platform employees were then locked inside the canteen, while the criminals ransacked the facilities, taking anything of value, including equipment, material and money. The pirates left the platform at about 04:00 the next day. The crew was then able to come out from their enclosure and give the alarm to the authorities, who did not show up until 08:30. Given the recent generalization of such incidents perpetrated by false fishermen, the Mexican authorities have reportedly restricted fishing activities in a radius of 1,500 km from oil platforms. FULL ARTICLE (1)

2. (COLOMBIA, 25/04/19) Businessman’s daughter rescued from Los Pelusos

Yajaira Castro Pérez, the daughter of an important local businessman, was rescued in a coordinated operation between different units of the Gaula Militar on 25 April. The rescue took place in a village of the San Cayetano municipality of Norte de Santander department, when Colombian soldiers intercepted the vehicle in which the victim was being transported by her captors, believed to be members of Los Pelusos gang. Five subjects were captured, in possession of a number of weapons, including a fragmentation grenade. Yajaira was kidnapped on 2 April as she was traveling with one of his relatives to a coal mine in the municipality of San Cayetano, where he was intercepted by eight heavily armed men, who said they would only take her for about two hours for questioning. A few days after, the kidnappers demanded over COP 1.5 billion (almost half a million USD) to release the woman. FULL ARTICLE

EUROPE

3. (SPAIN, 26/04/19) Kidnappers arrested in Toledo

The Spanish Civil Guard arrested four men for kidnapping, threatening and beating a man in the Toledo town of Mora. The kidnapping, reported to the civil guard only on 25 April, was committed in November 2018, when the victim show up for a business meeting arranged by a man who allegedly had land for sale. The victim was met by three men, who assaulted him and took him away at gunpoint. The criminals later phoned the victim’s father to demand a €300,000 ransom, which had to be paid within 20 minutes. The kidnappers reportedly called several times to insist on the delivery of the money, but the father was not able to gather it. The four individuals, suspecting that the crime had been reported to the authorities, released the victim. However, they first severely beaten the man and threatened to kidnap him again if he didn’t pay the money soon. The civil guard was able to arrest the criminals by tracing the phones used to communicate with the victim’s family. FULL ARTICLE

4. (SPAIN, 27/04/19) Kidnapping plot foiled in Malaga

On 26 April, Malaga police arrested a Polish national as he was getting off a train from Barcelona. According to police intelligence, the suspect is a dangerous hitman who had been hired to travel to Marbella to kidnap a member of a rival gang to settle accounts. The man, reported to have numerous records in Poland for kidnapping, assault and drug trafficking, has strong ties to international organized crime groups based in the Costa del Sol. Investigations on the said plot had reportedly began in March. FULL ARTICLE

MIDDLE EAST

5. (UAE, 25/04/19) Businessman and his workers tried for kidnapping fellow country men

A Chinese businessman and two of his Chinese workers appeared at a Dubai court on 25 April, accused of having kidnapped and assaulted two fellow countrymen on suspicion they had installed decryption software targeting a gambling game in the businessman’s gaming devices. The businessman and his workers, with the help of other men, abducted the victims on 27 February from the businessman’s electronic games hub located in Dubai’s International City. The businessman reportedly held the victims while his workers beat them. The victims were then taken away and threatened they would be killed and buried in the desert unless they paid Dhs 100,000 (approximately USD 27,000). Following the report made by the son of one of the victims, police located the property where the men were being held, arrested the assailants and rescued the victims. FULL ARTICLE (1)

AFRICA

6. (NIGERIA, 26/04/19) Emergency workers kidnapped in Rivers state, ransom demanded

On 24 April, four Nigerian emergency workers were kidnapped as they returned from an official assignment for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Rivers State. A fifth NEMA employee, who was with the group at the time of the incident, managed to escape and report the events. Local media, citing family sources, said the kidnappers have demanded a ransom of 40 million naira (approximately USD 110,000) for the four hostages. FULL ARTICLE (1)

7. (NIGERIA, 26/04/19) Chinese construction workers kidnapped in southern Nigeria

Two Chinese nationals were abducted by a group of rammed masked men from a construction site in the locality of Ohaozara, Ebonyi State, on 24 April. The victims have been identified as Sun Zhi Xim and Wang Qinghu, employees of Tonyi Chinese Group of Companies. Police carrying out investigations on the incident have said the construction site was vulnerable, located inside a thick forest without any form of security; whether police or local vigilante. A search and rescue operation in reportedly ongoing. It is currently unknown if the kidnappers have established communication yet. FULL ARTICLE (1)

8. (NIGERIA, 27/04/19) Shell senior employees kidnapped, escorts killed

Two senior employees of oil company Shell have been kidnapped and their police escorts killed in Nigeria’s Delta region. The attack took place in the locality of Rumuji, Rivers state, as the workers were returning from a business trip to Bayelsa State by road, on 25 April. During the ambush, the assailants killed the executives’ guards, later seizing the two workers. Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) confirmed the attack. However, the victims’ names and nationalities have not been made public. FULL ARTICLE (1)

9. (GHANA, 26/04/19) Indian businessman escapes his kidnappers

Indian businessman Umpakan Chodri was kidnapped by three armed men who intercepted his car in Kumasi, the capital city of the Ashanti region, on 25 April. According to reports, the kidnappers demanded a USD 500,000 ransom for the businessman’s release, sending photos of the hostage with a gun to his head to his relatives. The criminals also warned not to involve the police, threatening to stop communication and kill the victim. The businessman managed to escape the next day and sought help from some local people, who contacted his family and the police. FULL ARTICLE (1)