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Kidnap & Ransom Update – July 1, 2019


1. (MEXICO, 27/06/19) Looking for terrorists, security forces find kidnapped migrants

As part of an operation aiming to locate terrorists who threatened to enter the US, members of the Tamaulipas state police in the city Nuevo Laredo rescued eight kidnapped Bangladeshi migrants. In their statements to the authorities, the victims said it had taken them five months to arrive to Mexico from Bangladesh. They explained that they had managed to obtain a humanitarian visa in Mexico but upon their arrival in the border city, they had been kidnaped by members of the Cartel del Noreste. According to reports, the US government had issued a search notice for a group of Bangladeshi men, suspected of being part of a terrorist group and who intended to carry out an attack in US soil. The rescued men are currently being investigated by the Mexican authorities. FULL ARTICLE

2. (NICARAGUA, 28/06/19) Nicaraguan-American illegally detained by police

Members of the National Police, also known as Policia Orteguista, kidnapped a citizen of Nicaraguan-American dual citizenship, who was taken to the notorious jail El Chipote. Iris del Carmen Madriz Prado was kidnapped from her home in the municipality of Ticuantepe, on 27 June. The incident was reported to the Permanent Commission of Human Rights (CPDH) by the victim’s sister, who witnessed the arrest. She said two men in a patrol car wearing civilian clothes took her away without a warrant, saying she was being taken only for interrogation regarding her ex-husband. However, Iris had not been heard of ever since. Although Iris Madriz did not engage in any social protest, she had been a mayoral candidate for an opposition party in 2017. The incident has been reportedly been made known to the US Embassy in Nicaragua. FULL ARTICLE

3. (US, 29/06/19) 18 immigrants rescued in Houston

In a human trafficking investigation, Houston police arrested five men for allegedly holding 18 Latin American immigrants for ransom. The investigation started on 5 June, after relatives of one of the victims reported the incident to the police. According to their report, the kidnappers were demanding USD 4,700 for the man’s release, in addition to the USD 300 he had already paid in Mexico to get him into the US. The kidnappers told the family that the man would be killed if the money was not paid. Officers deployed to the location where they believed the victim was being held, and they arrested several suspects and rescued two victims. There, the police learned of another house where a number of migrants were also being held. At the second location, the authorities found 16 more victims, all female, in “deplorable conditions”. Investigations determined that the women had been held captive and sexually assaulted for 25 days. The 18 victims were all nationals from Latin American countries. FULL ARTICLE

4. (VENEZUELA, 30/06/19) Kidnapped Colombian businessman released after 22 days in captivity

Colombian businessman Germán Plata Palacio, who was kidnapped in a Venezuelan locality near the Colombian border on 7 June, has reportedly been released. The release took place on 28 June, during a rescue operation carried out by Venezuelan authorities in the locality of Capacho, Tachira state. Plata had been kidnapped alongside two of his Venezuelan employees. Only one of them was found during the operation. The fate of the female employee remains unknown. According to the businessman’s daughter, the kidnapping had been carried out by a gang of “common criminals”. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2)

5. (PERU, 01/07/19) Three Venezuelans arrested for kidnapping in Peru

A textile businessman rescued his daughter after she was kidnapped by three Venezuelan criminals on 28 June as she arrived at her University in Lima. Mario Fernandez, after receiving a video call from his daughter informing him she had been kidnapped, showed up at the place indicated by the criminals for the payment of the ransom, which amount had not been indicated in the call. However, as the kidnappers realized the meeting was being monitored by the police, tried to escape with the victim. The businessman then chased them, managing to hit the kidnappers’ car, forcing them to stop. The kidnappers released the girl and tried again to escape. The men were later arrested by the police. FULL ARTICLE (1)


6. (SPAIN, 27/06/19) Madrid police rescue kidnapped Argentine businessman

Spanish police announced on 27 June the rescue of an Argentine tycoon, who had been held against his will for seven days in Madrid. During the rescue operation, which took place in the Prosperidad neighborhood, five of his kidnappers, including four French nationals and a Russian, were arrested. The Spanish police was informed on the incident by the consulate of Argentina in Spain on 24 June, after a report was made in Argentina by the family of the hostage. The Argentinean “business magnate”, whose identity was not mentioned, had phoned his family to ask them to pay the UD 2 million ransom demanded by his captors. According to the police statement, the victim told his relatives that the kidnappers had threatened to kill him and his whole family if their demands were not met. On the same day of the report, the Spanish authorities reportedly located the house where the foreign national was being held. The rescue took place as the kidnappers were about to leave the location with the hostage, to transfer him to another safe house. According to the police, the arrested had “experience in handling weapons and military operations.” Sources close to the investigation said the men had been contracted to kidnap the businessman and extract the payment of a debt. According to some media sources, the incident would be linked to the Russian mafia. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2) (3)


7. (IRAQ, 28/06/19) Kidnapping and extortion gang arrested in Basra

Basra security forces arrested six men part of a gang specialised in kidnapping and extortion of both Iraqi and foreign companies near the Majnoon oilfield, particularly in the areas of Qurna, Suweib, Halijia. A number of weapons were seized from the arrested men. FULL ARTICLE


8. (NIGERIA, 28/06/19) Abducted Indian sailors rescued after 2 months of captivity in Nigeria

Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya announced on 28 June that five Indian sailors who were abducted from a ship in Nigeria had been rescued on 27 June, after over two months in captivity. Mandaviya said the seafarers from the vessel MT Apecus had been kidnapped and taken ashore from the vessel in the outer anchorage off Bonny Island, on 19 April. The five Indians had been taken alongside two other individuals of unspecified nationality. No details were provided on the conditions of their release. In the wake of the kidnapping, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had issued a statement accusing the Palau-flagged Tanker of conducting trading activities in Nigerian waters without permit. FULL ARTICLE