Kidnap & Ransom update – December 11, 2018
11-Dec-18

AMERICAS

1. (VENEZUELA, 09/12/18) Kidnapper dies after grenade explosion in Caracas

A kidnapper died in the area of El Paraiso in Caracas after he tried to attack police with a grenade, which ended up exploding in his hand. The man was part of a group of kidnappers who were being chased by police. The other gang members managed to escape after the incident. FULL ARTICLE

2. (HONDURAS, 09/12/18) Businessman found dead after 12 days in captivity
Honduras police confirmed that the body found on 8 December inside a sack near the northern town of Cofradía, belongs to businessman Gustavo Leonel Canahuati Sagastume. The son of former San Pedro Sula mayor Juan Leonel Canahuati had been kidnapped on 28 November as he was leaving an energy company owned by his family in the locality of Naco, not far from where the body was found. According to reports, during the negotiation process the kidnappers sent one of the victim’s fingers, both as a threat and proof of possession. Allegedly, the Canahuati family had paid a ransom early on 8 December, amounting to over USD 1 million; nonetheless, the kidnappers killed the victim. According to initial police investigations, the kidnapping gang subcontracted other criminals to murder the victim. FULL ARTICLE

EUROPE

3. (SWITZERLAND, 07/12/18) Diamond dealer kidnapped and robbed

A Geneva diamond dealer was taken hostage by a group of armed men as he was arriving home on 3 December. The gang reportedly threatened to kill him and his family if he did not cooperate. The dealer was forced to take the men to his business and handover several diamonds worth approximately 15 million Swiss francs (over USD 15.1 million). The man was then tied up, taken to the countryside and abandoned in his car. The Geneva police have said it seems this was a targeted, well-planned operation. At least two other similar incidents have been reported in the city so far in 2018. FULL ARTICLE

AFRICA

4. (CAMEROON, 23/11/18) 18 fishing crew kidnapped from five vessels off Cameroon

The IMB and MDAT GoG reported an unusual series of pirate attacks off Cameroon on 23 November. The events, targeting five fishing boats, took place at night, around 13nm WNW of Idenao, Cameroon, resulting in the kidnapping of 18 crew members. The victims were taken in groups of two, three, five, five and three, respectively. The remaining crew escaped the attacks and managed to sail their respective boats to safe port. According to unconfirmed sources, the kidnapped sailors had already been released as of 27 November, possibly following ransom payments. FULL ARTICLE (1)

5. (MADAGASCAR, 09/12/18) French businessman released in Antananarivo

French businessman of Indian origin Malik Karmaly was released in unknown circumstances on 9 December, just a day after he was kidnapped. Karmaly, CEO of the Habibo group, was kidnapped on 8 December in the Antananarivo district of Soavina Tanjombato. On the same day, a Tunisian businessman was reported kidnapped. It is believed that Sofiane Omrani, who remains in captivity, was taken along with Karmaly. FULL ARTICLE (1)

6. (NIGERIA, 10/12/18) Kidnapped academic found dead
The corpse of Mr Taiwo Akinyemi, an employee of the Ondo State Giwa Polytechnic, Owo (RUGIPO), was found after his kidnappers shot him dead over the inability to collect the ransom raised by the institution. Akinyemi and three workers of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owo were abducted on 4 December in along Owo- Akure Road. The three other victims were released soon after, following unspecified ransom payments. It was reported that the ransom initially demanded for Akinyemi’s release was N100 million (USD 273,000), which was later reduced to N50 million (USD 137,000) and finally to N500.000 (USD 1,400). Reportedly, the polytechnic was ready with the money and had already sent a delegation to deliver it to the kidnappers. However, during the drop-off process, there was a misunderstanding regarding the location and the kidnappers were not able to retrieve the money, leading to the killing of the victim. In protest to the incident, academic staff, management and students of the institution suspended activities at the polytechnic, also postponing indefinitely the second-semester examination, which was supposed to begin on 10 December. FULL ARTICLE (1)