Kidnap & Ransom update July 10, 2018
10-Jul-18

AMERICAS

1. (HONDURAS, 07/07/18) Police rescue man kidnapped by organized gang
A kidnapped man was rescued by police in Olancho department after being held captive by the well-known kidnapping gang “Los Gallineros”. The rescue operation took place on 7 July in the locality of San Esteban, where the young man was kept. Reportedly, the gang demanded a ransom of 300,000 lempiras (USD 12,500) for his release. One of the kidnappers was injured during the operation and a number of weapons were seized. Los Gallineros gang is known to specialise in kidnapping, and trafficking of drugs and weapons in the department of Olancho. FULL ARTICLE

2. (ARGENTINA, 08/07/18) Targeted express kidnapping in Rosario

A young man was kidnapped on the afternoon of 6 July as he left his workplace in the southern area of ​​Rosario city. He was forced to abandon his car and board the kidnappers’ vehicle. After a few hours, the kidnappers contacted the man’s family to demand a ransom of 2 million pesos (USD 71,600). It is reported the family finally paid approximately 100,000 pesos (USD 3,600) in the evening of the same day. After the victim was released, he was taken to hospital, presenting head injuries. It is believed the kidnapping was a targeted operation as it seemed the criminals had fairly accurate information on the victim’s family. FULL ARTICLE

EUROPE

3. (RUSSIA, 08/07/18) Four in trial over kidnapping for ransom of businessman
Four citizens of Kemerovo, Siberia, will be brought to trial in Novosibirsk on charges of kidnapping a businessman for ransom. The victim, a 32-year-old businessman from Kuzbass region, was kidnapped in May 2017. Reportedly, the crime was masterminded by an acquaintance, who knew the businessman would visit Kemerovo on business. According to the victim, the kidnappers received a ransom payment of 300,000 rubles (almost USD 5,000) from one of the victim’s friends, in addition to other 144,000 rubles ( USD 2,300) they made the victim transfer via a mobile app. However, the kidnappers did not release the hostage, keeping him for several days. The businessman was let go only after he promised to transfer them 2 million rubles he would receive soon. The kidnappers threatened him by saying they were officers of law enforcement agencies and that if their demands were not met, or he tried to report the incident, they would arrest him on drug trafficking charges. The businessman nonetheless reported the incident to the police. FULL ARTICLE (1)

MIDDLE EAST

4. (SYRIA, 08/07/18) Kidnapped Lebanese teenager released
A Lebanese teenager who was kidnapped at the Lebanese-Syrian border has been released unharmed and is preparing to go back to Lebanon with his parents. The kid’s father said a ransom of USD 7,000 had to be paid to the kidnappers, who he described as “criminals”. On 4 June, Mustafa El Hadj Diab was traveling with his mother and his younger brother to Idlib for a family visit, when unidentified armed men in military uniform stopped their taxi and kidnapped him along with two other passengers and the driver. No information was provided on the other hostages. FULL ARTICLE (1)

5. (IRAQ, 09/07/18) Abducted Filipinos confirmed released
The Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines confirmed that the two Filipinas who were seized by armed men last week were rescued by Iraqi authorities on 7 July. Iraqi authorities informed that the two victims were rescued in Diyala Province, a day after their abduction by a criminal gang. Several members of the group were reportedly arrested during the police rescue operation. The two women were travelling along four other female compatriots from Erbil, Kurdistan Region, to Baghdad, when they were taken by armed men along the highway in Uzem District between Kirkuk and Diyala, on 6 July. The other two women managed to escape and report the incident. Their driver, who reportedly escaped just before the incident, has been taken for questioning at a police station in Diyala province. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2) (3)

AFRICA

6. (SOUTH AFRICA, 09/07/18) Prominent businessman kidnapped in Cape Town
Five men are being sought by police in connection to the kidnapping of 65-year old businessman Liaqat Parker. Parker was kidnapped on 9 July just after arriving at the parking of his business premises in the Parow area of Cape Town. He was reportedly taken by men who were following him on a double cab LDV. The suspects first forced the security guard into a toilet at gunpoint, before taking his mobile phone and locking him in. After that, as Parker was descending his car, the kidnappers forced him into their vehicle and drove off. Parker is the second businessman to be kidnapped in Cape Town in less than a year. On 25 July 2017, three armed men kidnapped Sadeck Zhaun Ahmed. He was eventually released after a month. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2) (3)

7. (NIGERIA, 09/07/18) Village head arrested for kidnapping of ExxonMobil employees
Police in Akwa Ibom State confirmed the arrest of a village head and four others in Eket Local Government Area, in connection with the abduction of 19 ExxonMobil employees. A police source said that the suspects were arrested for their alleged participation in the abduction of ExxonMobil staff who were travelling from Port Harcourt for rotation work at the Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) at Ibeno Local Government Area. The police initially arrested four individuals, who during questioning, mentioned the participation of the village head of Atibe. According to their statements, Chief Inam Unanaowo gave them approval to abduct the ExxonMobil staff because the company did not employ people from the village. The kidnapping took place on 5 July and an undisclosed ransom had been demanded. One of the victims reportedly died in captivity, beaten to death by the kidnappers. The suspects were arrested the next day. FULL ARTICLE

8. (MADAGASCAR, 09/07/18) Businessman’s wife released after ransom payment

After 31 hours in captivity, Sabira Vasram, a French woman of Indian origin, wife of the owner of Sodiama, was released by her captors on 7 July. She was released with a number of injuries, sustained during the abduction. According to a member of the Collective of French nationals of Indian Origin of Madagascar (CFOIM), a large ransom amounting to millions of Ariary was paid for her release. The same source said it is believed the kidnapping was carried out by a well-organised criminal group, which is heavily armed and operates on a number or cars and motorbikes. The release reportedly took place without the assistance of police, who were not involved by the family. Sabira was kidnapped on 6 July by five armed individuals from the parking lot of a restaurant in Ivandry. FULL ARTICLE

ASIA

9. (AFGHANISTAN, 09/07/18) Construction workers kidnapped by Taliban
Two employees of a local construction company were abducted by suspected Taliban militants in Ghor province. The victims, employees of Dawlatyar Brothers’ construction company, were kidnapped in the vicinity of Chahar Sada district. According to local media, the kidnappers have demanded a ransom of 1 million Afghanis (USD 13,600) from the company to release the employees. Police efforts to identify and rescue the kidnapped employees are reportedly underway. FULL ARTICLE