Kidnap & Ransom update August 7, 2018
7-Aug-18

AMERICAS

1. (COLOMBIA, 04/08/18) ELN claims kidnapping of six people
The National Liberation Army (ELN) claimed through a video the kidnapping of six people in the department of Chocó, western Colombia. In the message spread on social networks, the masked spokesman said the group is awaiting orders from the central command and the delegation in La Havana conducting the peace dialog with the government, on the process for the liberation of the hostages. The group including three policemen, a soldier and two civilians, was abducted on 3 August, when they were traveling along the Arquía River, in the department of Chocó. A seventh person, a soldier, had been also kidnapped but was soon released, suffering an illness. The incident comes after the departing government of Colombia and the ELN concluded their sixth cycle of talks in La Havana on 1 August, without achieving their goal of a temporary bilateral ceasefire to guarantee the progress of the peace process, which began more than a year ago. FULL ARTICLE (1)

2. (COLOMBIA, 04/08/18) Man arrested for kidnap for ransom of Venezuelan migrants
A man who had kidnapped a number of Venezuelan migrants in Santander department was arrested on 1 August in the city Ibagué, Tolima department. The accused, posing as a sergeant of the Army, had promised the migrants work at a farm in the locality of Mariquita, Tolima. He told them that to get the job they had to pay him COP200,000 (USD 69) each to cover the transport costs. When arriving at the farm, the accused demanded instead a payment of COP1 million (USD 345), and forced them to work if they could not pay. At least 11 Venezuelan migrants were rescued by the Colombian authorities during the security operation. Preliminary reports indicate they had all been lured in July. FULL ARTICLE

MIDDLE EAST

3. (BAHRAIN, 06/08/18) Asians abduct and kill Imam in Muharraq
Abduljalil Humoud al-Ziyadi, an imam at the Bin Shiddah Mosque in Muharraq, was kidnapped and murdered by a number of Asian men. Initial reports reveal that al-Ziyadi was kidnapped and taken to the area of al-Sikrab, where he was tortured prior to being killed. The Bahraini Ministry of Interior announced the arrest of a 35-year-old Asian man accused of al-Ziyadi’s murder. The ministry added that body parts, believed to belong to al-Ziyadi, were found distributed among several plastic bags dumped in a farmland near the area of al-Sikrab. According to local press, the murder was triggered by a dispute between the Bengali community and the Imam, who was involved in issuing visas for migrants. The Imam’s family state that they last heard of him at the early hours of Saturday 4 August, after attending prayer. FULL ARTICLE

AFRICA

4. (DRC, 06/08/18) Ugandan rebels abduct 14 locals in northeastern Congo
At least 14 locals have been kidnapped by suspected rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in a rural area of Ruwenzori commune in Beni, North Kivu province. The incident took place on 2 August following an attack on their village. Reportedly, the militants were pushed back by the Congolese army but abducted the villagers as they retreated. The Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan rebel group operating in the region since 1995, is responsible for the deaths of more than 1,500 people and at least 800 kidnappings since 2014, according to local civil society organisations. FULL ARTICLE (1)

ASIA

5. (MALAYSIA, 04/08/18) Indian businessmen kidnapped in Malaysia
Two Indian brothers, both meat exporters, were reported kidnapped on 3 August, two days after landing in Malaysia for a business trip. Their relatives have said the kidnappers have demanded Rs1 crore (USD 146,000) for their release. A number of subsequent calls were received by the victims’ family over the next two days. It is reported that one of the hostages would always make the phone call and that the kidnappers have no spoken directly with the family. FULL ARTICLE