Kidnap & Ransom update August 27, 2018
27-Aug-18

AMERICAS

1. (PANAMA, 24/08/18) Kidnapped Colombian rescued in Panama East

On 23 August, a kidnapped Colombian man was rescued by members of the Panamanian National Police, hours after his abduction in the district of Monterrico, Panama East. The rescue took place after the kidnappers tried to evade a police roadblock. During the chase, the kidnappers lost control over their vehicle and collided. Two alleged kidnappers, both Panamanians, were arrested on the spot. According to preliminary investigations, the victim was kidnapped about 1 pm of the same day. FULL ARTICLE

2. (GUATEMALA, 25/08/18) Canadian mining company announces kidnapping of 12 contractors in Guatemala

On 25 August, Canadian mining company Tahoe Resources Inc. announced that 12 unarmed security contract workers of Minera San Rafael were attacked and kidnapped late in the evening of 24 August. After several hours in captivity at gunpoint, the contractors were eventually released and escorted by the Guatemalan Civil National Police (PNC) back to the city of Jalapa, where they were treated for their injuries. The abductors identified themselves as the “Peaceful Resistance Group of Mataquescuintla.” Earlier in the week, the same group had installed an illegal blockade on a public road at the entrance of the municipality of Mataquescuintla in the department of Jalapa, which is about five kilometers away from the Escobal mine. It is believed both incidents are linked to the absence of a final decision by the Guatemalan authorities over the company’s mining license over the Escobal mine. Since the case entered the Guatemalan Constitutional Court, various violent actions have reportedly been carried out by local resistance groups, including attacks on supplier vehicles and helicopters, threats to local community members and their families, and kidnapping attempts. FULL ARTICLE (1)

3. (COLOMBIA, 26/08/18) Colombian Army rescues two ELN kidnap victims

The Army has rescued two people who had been held hostage for 42 days by guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) in the department of Arauca. The victims, an artisan and a taxi driver, were said to have been kidnapped by members of the Laín Sáenz Front of the ELN, who demanded an undisclosed ransom for their release. The Colombian authorities estimate that the ELN stills holds at least 20 other people. FULL ARTICLE

4. (MEXICO, 27/08/18) 22 Central American migrants kidnapped in southern Mexico

According to a Honduran who managed to escape his kidnappers and give notice to the police, he and 22 other Central American immigrants were kidnapped in Chiapas by human smugglers who were supposed to take them to the central Mexican state of Puebla. The kidnap victims were said to originate from Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The young man who escaped on 21 August, reported that two hours after crossing the Mexico-Guatemala border, their driver left the highway and took them to a rural location near San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, where they were held against their will for several days. The rest of the group was rescued by the Mexican authorities on 27 August, 26 days after their kidnapping, from a property in San Juan Chamula. Three presumed kidnappers were arrested during the operation. It was informed the migrants had paid the smugglers almost 800USD each to be transported to the border with US, and that the kidnappers had demanded a ransom of 200,000 pesos (USD 10,600). FULL ARTICLE (1)

MIDDLE EAST

5. (ISRAEL, 25/08/18) France demands that Israel releases French citizen

The French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris has pointed out that a year has elapsed since the arrest of French citizen Salah Hamouri in Israel. France is still concerned about his illegal detention, which has been extended until 30 September. It has been reported that French President Emmanuel Macron has discussed this issue with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on several occasions and has called for an end to Hamouri’s detention. According to reports, Hamouri is being held with neither charge nor trial, and he has been denied the right to know the charges brought against him and to be visited by his family, among other legal rights. This situation has reportedly been brought to the attention of the Israeli authorities in numerous occasions by their French counterparts. FULL ARTICLE

AFRICA

6. (MADAGASCAR, 24/08/18) Businessman’s wife kidnapped in Maevatanana

The wife of a businessman was kidnapped from her home in the city of Maevatanana on 23 August, by men armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles. It is reported the kidnappers have demanded a ransom of 250 million Ariary (almost USD 75,000). It is believed the criminals did not originally intend to kidnap the woman. According to witnesses, the incident started as an armed assault, in which the attackers demanded a much lower amount in cash. As the family did not have the demanded sum, the armed men decided to instead take the woman hostage to force the husband to pay, this time a higher amount. The incident has been reported to the local authorities. FULL ARTICLE

ASIA

7. (CAMBODIA, 23/08/18) Five Chinese charged for kidnapping and extortion

On 22 August, Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged five Chinese men for unlawfully confining a Chinese businessman for ransom in the Tuol Kork district of the city, to recover a gambling debt. The incident took place in the evening of 16 August, when the unnamed victim went to a casino in Chamkar Mon district and gambled away all his money. He then borrowed UDS15,000 from the accused but also lost it. When the victim could not repay the money, the men kidnapped him and took him to their rental house in Tuol Kork, where the victim was beaten before his family was contacted the next day. The men threatened to kill the victim if the debt was not paid. Under police guidance, the family negotiated with the abductors and paid the money. The police arrested the loan sharks after the victim was reported safe. A similar incident was recorded on 23 August, when three other Chinese gamblers were abducted from a casino in Preah Sihanouk province. After losing their money on 21 August at the Oriental Pearl Casino, and failing to pay the additional money they borrowed, the three were detained by his lenders for several days in a room at the casino, demanding their families settled the debt. The victims were rescued by the Cambodian authorities after a relative of one of the victims reported the incident. FULL ARTICLE (1)

8. (PHILIPPINES, 24/08/18) Three Chinese men arrested for kidnapping conational

Philippine Police arrested three Chinese nationals for kidnapping a Chinese computer engineer in Makati City. The three suspects, Wana Ping (46), Yuan Jun (47) and He Ping (45), who entered the Philippines as tourists, allegedly kidnapped Chao Yu on 20 August. The incident was reported to the police by a friend, who stated the kidnappers had demanded P300,000 (USD 5,600) for the victim’s release. The next day, the police conducted an entrapment operation at a condominium building in Makati, managing to arrest the three, release the victim and recover the P100,000 (USD 1,900) paid as ransom. FULL ARTICLE (1)