Kidnap & Ransom update August 9, 2018
9-Aug-18

AMERICAS

1. (COLOMBIA, 08/08/18) Mayor’s daughter kidnapped in Cali
On 4 August, the daughter of the mayor of Sipí, Chocó province, was abducted in Cali after leaving the university to meet a group of friends. The victim’s family received no news of their missing daughter until 7 August, when the alleged perpetrators sent a picture to them of the gagged woman. At present, the victim’s family claimed that no ransom demands have been issued. FULL ARTICLE (1)

2. (MEXICO, 07/08/18) Virtual kidnapping thwarted before ransom paid
In Luis Moya, Zacatecas, security forces released a woman who was the victim of a virtual kidnapping. Police were informed of the ‘abduction’ by the victim’s son, who told authorities that his mother had been kidnapped and a ransom demanded for her release. Upon launching a search operation, the victim was found in a hotel room in Luis Moya. She claimed she was instructed to hide at the hotel room, in which she was located, via a threatening phone call she received. From here, she was instructed to board a taxi to Rincón de Romos, Aguascalientes, but was found by police before she could do so. The ransom value was not disclosed, though authorities confirmed it was never paid to the perpetrators. FULL ARTICLE

3. (USA, 07/08/18) Police rescue several minors being held captive in a compound in New Mexico
In an operation aimed at rescuing a child kidnapped three years ago, the New Mexico police uncovered a rural complex in which 11 children between the ages of 1 and 15 were being held captive in extreme conditions. Two men and three women have been arrested for their involvement in the abduction and forced captivity of the children. The suspects have been described as Islamist extremists, purportedly having kidnapped the children to train and prepare them for terror attacks. One of the chief suspects was reported to be conducted weapons training with assault rifles at the compound. On 6 August, the remains of a young boy were also found at the site, though it is currently unclear if this was the body of the missing child from three years prior. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2) (3)

EUROPE

4. (FRANCE, 08/08/18) Kidnap victim found in Lyon
A kidnap victim, whose identity is yet to be revealed, was found in Lyon on 6 August after being abducted in the Nîmes region a few days prior. The victim was reportedly kidnapped by several individuals for financial motives. At present, authorities have not released information regarding any ransom demands however. On 8 August, two suspects thought to have been involved in the kidnapping were taken into custody. An investigation to identify and apprehend the remaining assailants is underway. FULL ARTICLE

MIDDLE EAST

5. (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 09/08/18) Man abducted and robbed in Dubai
Police arrested a gang of five kidnappers on 9 August for their suspected involvement in an abduction case. The victim was reportedly in possession of 220,000 dirhams (almost USD 60,000), given to him by his manager to deposit into the company’s account. While on route from his residence, members of the kidnapping gang accosted the victim and forcibly entered his vehicle. They then drove the victim to Malihah Street in Sharjah district, from where they robbed him of his bag containing the money and fled the scene. One of the perpetrators however left his mobile phone in the back seat of the car, which the victim was able to give to police to assist in the identification of the gang. At present, four of the five accused have been arrested. Given the targeted nature of the attack, it is highly likely the assailants were aware that the victim was in possession of a significant amount of money, possibly indicating they had been monitoring the victim or had prior knowledge of the money deposit scheduled that day. FULL ARTICLE

AFRICA

6. (EGYPT, 08/08/18) Child abducted in Cairo, ransom demand issued
On 2 August, the young son of the director of a public contracting company was abducted by two individuals on a motorcycle in Cairo’s Fifth District. The attack occurred outside of the Al Itasam Mosque. The victim’s family subsequently received a phone call from the perpetrators demanding a large ransom payment for the release of the 8-year-old boy. At present, the ransom fee is undisclosed. Within 6 hours of the abduction being conducted, a police investigative team tracked down the apartment in which the victim was being held and summarily arrested two suspects. It was later reported that the mastermind behind the abduction was an associate of the victim’s father, and targeted his family specifically because of their known wealth. FULL ARTICLE (1)

7. (MOZAMBIQUE, 03/08/18) South African kidnap victim found alive
On 1 August, a 60-year-old South African businessman residing in Palma, was allegedly shot and kidnapped by an armed gang outside the Amarula Hotel, just north of Palma. The assailants were comprised of four men, all wearing balaclavas. The following day, the victim was reportedly rescued in a military operation, though details over the abduction and rescue remain unclear. He was taken to a military hospital in critical condition but survived the ordeal. At present, the perpetrators behind the attack remain unknown. FULL ARTICLE (1)

8. (SENEGAL, 07/08/18) Four loggers abducted by armed men in Casamance
On 6 August, four loggers were abducted by armed men in a forest in the Ziguinchor region. Reports claim that two of the victims have been executed, whilst Senegalese security forces are currently searching for the remaining two. While the motives behind the attack currently remain unknown, it is beloved the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) was behind the abductions/executions. FULL ARTICLE</p>

ASIA

9. (MALAYSIA, 08/08/18) Indian businessmen kidnapped in Malaysia rescued
The two Indian businessmen who had been reported kidnapped on 3 August in Malaysia, were rescued three days later. During their abduction, the kidnappers had demanded Rs1 crore (USD 146,000) for their release. On 7 August, the rescue of the victims was confirmed by the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who tweeted, “R.P.Vaidya and K.P.Vaidya who had gone to Malaysia for business purposes were abducted on 3rd Aug 2018. I am happy to inform that with the efforts of our High Commissioner Mridul Kumar and his team, Malaysian Police has secured release of both Indian nationals on 6th Aug 2018.” It is currently unknown at present however if the ransom demand was met to secure the release of the two victims. FULL ARTICLE