AMERICAS Argentina / Jamaica / Panama (Security threat levels –...
1. (BRAZIL, 18/07/19) Kidnapped Indian national released after ransom payment
A kidnapped Indian national was released in the city of Itamaraju, Bahia State, after 12 hours in captivity. The release reportedly took place soon after the victim’s father paid BRL 2,000 (USD 533) to the kidnappers. The money had been deposited in the victim’s bank account and withdrawn by the criminals from a lottery house. The Indian citizen was intercepted and taken away in his own car on 17 July, as he was leaving colleague in the city of Porto Seguro. No arrests have been made so far. FULL ARTICLE
2. (MEXICO, 18/07/19) Three Colombians arrested for express kidnapping Chihuahua city authorities processed three women of Colombian nationality and one local man, accused of being part of a gang specialised in robbery and express kidnapping.
They were particularly tried for an express kidnapping that took place on 10 July, in which one of the defendants approached the victim outside a shop to request his help exchanging a winning lottery ticket. As the victim tried to help the woman, her accomplices intimidated him with violence and death threats, forcing him into his vehicle. The victim was then taken to a bank, where he was forced to withdraw MXP 30,000 (USD 1,600). Afterwards, he was forced to take the gang to his home, from where they stole MXP 4,800 (USD 252). Two of the defendants took the victim’s car while the other two left in their own vehicle, a rented car. Authorities determined that the group was responsible for several similar cases in other Mexican states. FULL ARTICLE
3. (IRAN, 19/07/19) Two more vessels sized by Iran in Strait of Hormuz
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards issued a statement on the evening of 19 January, claiming to have seized a British-flagged oil tanker. The statement reportedly cited breaches of international maritime law as motive, likely referring to the detention of an Iranian tanker by UK forces off Gibraltar two weeks ago. According to the statement made by the owners of the Stena Impero, at 3pm GMT (7pm local time), the ship was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit in international waters of the Strait of Hormuz. Reportedly, the vessel was later tracked heading towards Iran’s Qeshm Island, where the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has a large base. The Stena Impero had been heading for Saudi Arabia, when the incident took place. About 40 minutes after this incident, a second tanker in the area, the Liberian-flagged Mesdar, was reported making a sudden diversion from its course, with tracking data showing it moving towards the Iranian coast, before apparently turning off its tracking signal. Of note, the Iranian authorities did not mention the capture of this second vessel in their statement. These two seizures came hours after authorities in Gibraltar announced they were extending their custody of the Iranian tanker Grace 1, suspected of shipping oil to Syria. They also follow a number of similar incidents in the region. These include the detention of the Riah – an alleged Emirati oil tanker- on 13 July, and an attempt on UK tanker British Heritage, on 10 July. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2) (3)
4. (NIGERIA, 18/07/19) Gunmen kill soldiers, kidnap expatriate in southern Nigeria
Two soldiers were killed and a foreign engineer kidnapped in an attack near a road construction site in Ukanafun council area of Akwa Ibom, on 17 July. According to reports, the attack took place as the soldiers escorted the expatriate to his routine inspection of the road work. The kidnap victim has not been identified yet; it is only known that he was working with Al Madal Construction Company. Akwa Ibom authorities have said they are aware of the incident and are working with security agencies in the state to arrest those involved. FULL ARTICLE (1)
5. (INDIA, 17/07/19) Dubai expatriates kidnapped in Chandigarh
Two youths were allegedly kidnapped after they arrived at Chandigarh international airport from Dubai, where they reside. A witness of the event, a rickshaw driver, said that the two victims had boarded his vehicle after arriving into Chandigarh and asked to be taken to Dera Bassi. As they approached Safipur village, they were intercepted by three individuals on a car with plates from Haryana. The assailants forcibly pushed the two youths and their luggage into their car and sped away. The identity of the victims has not been ascertained, nor has the possible motive of their kidnapping. FULL ARTICLE
6. (AUSTRALIA, 17/07/19) Man kidnapped and extorted by woman he met online
On 16 May, a Brisbane man was drugged, kidnapped and forced to sign over ownership of his luxury car after meeting a woman he had befriended online a month before. The victim met the woman at an address of her choosing, where he was given a laced drink that made him pass out. He told police he woke up to find two men threatening him with a knife, demanding he signed over ownership of his BMW. The trio then drove him to an ATM, where he was made withdraw money before being let go. The three suspects have been arrested. FULL ARTICLE