Kidnap & Ransom Update – April 30, 2019
30-Apr-19

AMERICAS

1. (PERU, 28/04/19) Businessman’s son kidnapped by Venezuelan gang, rescued

Peruvian security agents found Erix Rodolfo Salva Plácido, the son of a local businessman who had been kidnapped outside his father’s business in the city of San Martin de Porres. He was found tied on a dirty mattress, dehydrated and in shock. The young man had been kidnapped on 20 April by five Venezuelans, one of them, a worker at his father’s company. The kidnappers had reportedly demanded a USD 250,000 ransom, threatening to kill the victim is it was not paid. When the family was only able to gather USD 20,000, the threats grew considerably, this time targeting the victim’s wife and kids. Three of the kidnappers, including the mastermind, have been arrested so far. FULL ARTICLE (1)

2. (MEXICO, 29/04/19) American couple kidnapped for ransom in Sonora

A Tucson couple is back in the US after Mexican authorities rescued them last week from kidnappers that held them for ransom in the Mexican city of Nogales, Sonora State. The couple was kidnapped by a group of armed men on 24 April. The US Embassy in Mexico City alerted the Sonora Attorney General’s Office in the evening of the next day, after relatives of the victims in the US filed a report saying the kidnappers were demanding USD 15,000. According to the Mexican authorities, nearly a half an hour later, officers with the attorney general office’s investigative branch located the couple inside a house in southern Nogales. Two men guarding the victims were arrested during the raid. The victims returned back home on 27 April. FULL ARTICLE (1)

MIDDLE EAST

3. (SYRIA, 28/04/19) Video of kidnapped South African journalist surfaces

A video showing South African photo-journalist Shiraz Mohammed, who was kidnapped two years ago in Darkoush, Syria, has surfaced proving he is still alive. The 36-second video was sent by Mohammed’s captors via WhatsApp to relief agency Gift of the Givers on 26 April. In the video, dated 13 April 2019, Mohammed is seen sitting down as a masked gunman stands next to him. He makes an appeal to Imtiaaz Sooliman – founder of Gift of the Givers -, the South African president, his family and friends, and the international community, to assist in securing his release. Mohammed also mentions he is in an area that is being bombed by Russian forces. According to Imtiaz Sooliman, Mohammed’s captors have not yet asked for a ransom, but it is expected this will be issued soon. Mohamed was abducted in January 2017 in the vicinity of Gift of the Givers’ Ar Rahma Hospital in Darkoush, Syria. The first Proof of Life was provided on 8 January 2018, when Mohammed’s family received answers to 10 very personal questions which only Shiraaz could answer. FULL ARTICLE (1)

AFRICA

4. (NIGERIA, 28/04/19) Two expatriates kidnapped off Nigerian oil rig

Three oil workers – a Canadian, a Scottish and a Nigerian -, were abducted on 27 April, during an early-morning raid on a rig owned by Niger Delta Petroleum Resources in Ogbele, Rivers State. No more details have been made public so far. According to Nigerian military authorities, a major search operation is now underway, with particular focus on swamps and neighboring areas where civilians have recently been attacked. The abduction is the second in the Delta region within the last week, and the third in Nigeria this month involving expatriates. FULL ARTICLE (1) (3)

5. (NIGERIA, 30/04/19) Kidnapped Chinese nationals rescued in Ebony

The Ebony police reportedly rescued the two Chinese nationals who were abducted by unknown gunmen at a road construction site in Ohaozara local government area of the state on 24 April. According to a police spokesman, Sun Zhi Xim and Qinghu were rescued on 28 April from a thick forest not far from the working site, after the kidnappers had abandoned the victims as a result of the authorities’ pressure. The spokesperson also said that the state commissioner of police had convened a meeting with all Chinese and other expatriates working or residing in Ebony, to stress the need to improve security measures. Reportedly, the police was not aware of any ransom being paid for the victims. FULL ARTICLE

ASIA

6. (MALAYSIA, 30/04/19) Seven arrested over kidnap and murder of foreigner

During separate raids in different locations, Malaysian police arrested seven suspects for their alleged involvement in the kidnap and murder of a foreign man. According to preliminary probes, the victim was abducted from his home and taken to a place in Seremban, where he was beaten to death. The authorities believe the victim’s remains were burned and dumped along the Federal Route 361. Initial investigations additionally showed that the victim had failed to repay a sum of money to one of the suspects. The investigations determined the suspects had tried to extract some money from victim, which the victim had misused. The nationality of the victim was not made public. FULL ARTICLE