Kidnap & Ransom update – January 30, 2019
30-Jan-19

AMERICAS

1. (MEXICO, 27/01/19) Ranch owner kidnapped in public in Michoacán

Businessman Hugo Figueroa, owner of La Misión Ranch, which is internationally renowned for its fighter bulls, was kidnapped while attending a bull fight in the locality of Tarimbaro, Michoacán, on 27 January. The abduction took place as a commando comprised of at least seven heavily armed men entered the grounds of the bullring opening fire on the businessman’s entourage. During the attack, one of the businessman’s security escorts lost his life and one more was injured. After the incident the event was suspended. FULL ARTICLE (1)

2. (COLOMBIA, 27/01/19) Woman kidnapped over her son’s drugs debt

A group of nine armed men, raided the house of a man who allegedly owed them money for drugs. The men planned to hold the individual hostage until he paid, but he was not in the property at the time of the raid. Therefore, the commando decided to take the man’s son instead. The boy’s grandmother (mother of the alleged debtor) managed to stop this by offering herself as hostage instead. After taking the woman away, the kidnappers demanded 60 million Colombian pesos (almost USD 19,000) for her release. After two days, the family reported the incident to the police, who later managed to locate the victim and arrest the criminals. The woman was held for five days but did not suffer any injuries. FULL ARTICLE (1)

3. (HAITI, 30/01/19) Kidnapping gang dismantled in Cap-Haitien

Four alleged members of a kidnapping gang with operations in the Haitian departments of Nord, Nord-Ouest and Artibonite, were arrested during a police operation on 27 January in the city of Cap-Haitien. According to the police, this gang is linked to several kidnappings recorded in 2018. These cases include the kidnapping of three men, in which although a ransom of USD 4,000 was paid, the kidnappers did not release the hostages. This gang is also being held responsible of the kidnapping of Frandy Granny, from whom they obtained USD 3,000 in ransom. In the department of Artibonite, the defendants are accuse of the murder of several citizens. FULL ARTICLE

4. (TRINIDAD, 30/01/19) Six Trinitarian fishermen kidnapped by Venezuelan pirates

Venezuelan pirates reportedly kidnapped five Trinidadian fishermen and a minor on 29 January. Trinidad officials said the kidnappers have established contact with relatives of the victims to demand a ransom of USD 200,000. Reportedly, the pirates have threatened to cut off one of the men’s arms if the ransom was not paid. The authorities are yet to determine the exact point of abduction. FULL ARTICLE

EUROPE

5. (SPAIN, 28/01/19) Spanish gang arrested for kidnapping migrant children for ransom

Spanish authorities arrested five members of a gang that kidnapped migrant children from shelter homes and demanded ransoms from their families. The mean were arrested in separate raids on two properties in the town of Puerto Real, Cadiz province. The Guardia Civil also rescued a Moroccan youth who had been reported missing from a nearby migrant centre. Authorities believe the gang may have carried out as many as 20 kidnappings in total. Its members – three Spanish citizens and two Moroccans – allegedly approached the minors when they were allowed out of their shelters during the day, and offered to help them gain residency permits. According to one of the victims, they were held prisoner in filthy conditions in safe-houses across the country, from where the kidnappers would call relatives in Morocco and demand ransoms of between €400 and €500. Last May, Spanish police arrested a gang of Moroccans in Algeciras, allegedly responsible for the kidnapping of African migrants just as they landed on Spanish soil. The five men were accused of stealing the migrants’ mobile phones and demanding ransoms of up to €2,000 from relatives on the other side of the Strait of Gibraltar. FULL ARTICLE

MIDDLE EAST

6. (KUWAIT, 28/01/19) Kidnappers of Bangladeshi national arrested in Kuwait

Kuwait city security operatives arrested a gang of four Bangladeshis who kidnapped and severely injured a compatriot. The operation took place following a report by the victim, who said he was kidnapped from his apartment in Amghara area and then taken to an unknown place. Reportedly, the man was held by the accused for several hours, in which he was severely assaulted and robbed of KD200 (USD 658) in cash and other belongings. A passer-by, who heard the victim shouting for help, came to his rescue and later took him to a hospital for treatment. The victim said knowing two of the kidnappers. FULL ARTICLE

AFRICA

7. (GUINEA, 27/01/19) Kidnappers of Lebanese on trial

Three men, including two Lebanese and one Guinean, are being tried in a Conakry court for their participation in the kidnapping for ransom of a Lebanese businessman in the same city in May. Mohammed Mattar was kidnapped by the three accused on 19 May 2018, lured on an alleged business deal. According to court records, the kidnappers demanded USD 70,000 as ransom. The victim managed to escape his captors on the same day. The two Lebanese men were present at the trial, while the Guinean national is being tried in absentia as he is still on the run. The Lebanese suspects have indicated the third man was the mastermind of the crime, although the prosecution has presented its reservations, trying to prove the crime may have been linked to gang activity in Lebanon. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2)