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Kidnap & Ransom Update – July 10, 2019


1. (MEXICO, 10/07/19) Salvadoran migrant reports kidnapping of his wife and daughters in Mexico City

A Salvadoran migrant reported the kidnapping of his wife and two daughters by members of Cartel de Tepito, who are targeting migrants in the area, offering them to work for the group or kidnapping them. The man said that his family had disappeared from a shelter in the Iztapalapa area of Mexico City, where they were staying since their arrival with the Migrant Caravan in February. According to his report, his wife and kids disappeared soon after his wife informed him (who was still in El Salvador) on 14 June that she had managed to find somebody to help them cross the border into the US. Parallel to this report, the Mexican authorities have reported an important increase in crime perpetrated by migrants in the country. FULL ARTICLE

2. (MEXICO, 10/07/19) Cuban migrants kidnapped by criminal groups in Yucatan

A Cuban migrant reported he was victim of kidnapping as soon as he arrived in the country on raft, on 4 January. The criminals reportedly took him to a safe house in the capital of Yucatan State, Merida, where he was beaten and filmed. The video was sent to his relatives in the US, from whom the criminals demanded USD 10,000 as ransom. However, the relatives reported the incident to the American authorities, who alerted their Mexican counterparts. Yucatan state police rescued the victim alongside other four Cubans held in the same location, on 11 January. Four suspected kidnappers, all Cuban nationals, were arrested. Other evidence suggests this is not an isolated case. FULL ARTICLE (1)


3. (SOUTH AFRICA, 10/07/19) Johannesburg businessman robbed and abducted

Brixton police are looking for four armed men in connection with the armed robbery and abduction of a 79-year-old businessman in the area over the weekend. A fifth suspected attacker was shot in the head and is in hospital under police guard. The incident took place on 6 July, as the businessman, his daughter and two employees were travelling home on the businessman’s luxury car. Soon after they noticed a vehicle following them, the occupants of that car open fired on them, forcing them to stop. The assailants descended their car and at gunpoint demanded money from the businessman. When he could only give them R5,000 (almost USD 400), they fired into the air and forced the man into their car, taking him away. The attack was reported to the police by residents. The attackers dropped the businessman, who resulted injured, at Diepkloof Hostel, where they also abandoned their car. One of the assailants was later found with a bullet wound in his head, although it is unknown who the perpetrator was and the circumstances of the event. FULL ARTICLE

4. (SOUTH AFRICA, 10/07/19) Man arrested suspected in businesswoman’s kidnapping

A man has been arrested, believed to be linked to the disappearance of a wealthy businesswoman of Indian origin. The man was found in possession of the victim’s phone. Sandra Moonsamy, who is the financial director at her family-owned business, Crossmoor Transport, has been missing for 38 days. She was abducted on 30 May by gunmen in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal province. According to local media, her kidnappers have demanded R150 million (over USD 10.5 million) in exchange for her safe return. As reports emerged on the arrest, it also transpired that a second ransom demand had been received by the victim’s family. FULL ARTICLE (1)


5. (MALAYSIA, 10/07/19) Esszone curfew extended again

Curfew in the waters off seven districts in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone), which ends today, will be extended until 25 July. As part of the curfew, people living in the area are required to stay indoors, while outsiders are not allowed to enter or be in the declared areas from 6 pm to 6 am. The Sabah police stated that based on intelligence, Abu Sayyaf-linked militant groups and those carrying out kidnap-for-ransom activities from southern Philippines are still active in conducting cross-border crimes. FULL ARTICLE