Kidnap & Ransom Update – July 23, 2019
23-Jul-19

AMERICAS

1. (CANADA, 19/07/19) American tourist victim of express kidnapping in Toronto
One man has been arrested and two are still being sought for, accused of kidnapping an American tourist in Toronto. The incident took place on 15 July, when the male tourist was approached by one of the suspect at a night club in the King St. W. area. After chatting for a while, the man invited him to another party. He accepted the invitation and accompanied the individual to his vehicle. On the way to the alleged party, the man picked up the other two suspects, who were wearing hoods that covered their faces. When the vehicle stopped again, one of the hooded men reached around from the back seat and began choking the American, while the driver pointed at him with a gun and demanded all his belongings. After assaulting the tourist, the abductors used his debit cards to withdraw an undisclosed amount of cash, and in possession of his keys, ransacked his accommodation. The victim was released after about three hours. FULL ARTICLE

2. (COLOMBIA, 22/07/19) Colombian authorities dismantle kidnapping gang demanding cryptocurrency as ransom
The Colombian police announced the arrest of a gang of kidnappers that operated in the central department of Boyacá, and who demanded ransom payments in cryptocurrency. A number of incidents have been attributed to this gang, including the kidnapping of a businessman in 2017, whose family was forced to pay 12 million Colombian pesos (almost UD 4,000) in cryptocurrency for his release. The gang known as "Los Hackers" was comprised by five individuals, who mainly operated in the Boyacá areas of Duitama, Paipa and Sogamoso. The gang typically used a woman to lure businessmen, who mostly worked with cryptocurrencies. FULL ARTICLE

EUROPE

3. (SPAIN, 21/07/19) Kidnapped Slovakian rescued in Catalonia, Pakistani captor arrested
On 17 July, police in Spain rescued a Slovakian woman and arrested her Pakistani captor, who had kidnapped the woman as part of a plot to marry her and obtain EU citizenship. According to police reports, the woman had been held for 20 days in a flat in Tortosa, Catalonia, before her rescue. The woman was located after she managed to call the police in Slovakia as the man left her alone in the locked apartment. The Slovakian authorities then contacted their Spanish counterparts. After her rescue, the woman recounted she had met her captor in Slovakia, and after finding out he wanted to look for work in Spain, she decided to travel with him. Once there, the man proposed she married him so he could obtain residency. When she refused, the man held her captive and threatened to kill her if she did not comply or alerted the authorities. The man had reportedly planned to proceed with the weeding in the same week the rescue took place. FULL ARTICLE (1)

AFRICA

4. (NIGERIA, 19/07/19) Aid convoy attacked, six feared kidnapped
Six people are feared kidnapped following an attack on an aid convoy in northeastern Nigeria on 18 July, carried out by suspected Islamist insurgents. International aid organisation Action Against Hunger confirmed the incident in a statement, saying that one member of their staff, three health workers and two drivers were missing after the attack that took place near the town of Damasak, Borno state. A third driver was killed by the assailants. The nationality of the victims and other details were not immediately clear. Following the incident, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, Edward Kallon, raised concern over the safety of aid workers in northeastern Nigeria, particularly in Borno. FULL ARTICLE (1)

5. (NIGERIA, 21/07/19) Four Turkish expatriates kidnapped in northern Nigeria
On the night of 20 July, four Turkish expatriates were kidnapped by at least six armed bandits who raided a local bar in Gbale village, Edu Local Government Area of Kwara state. The victims have been identified as Yasin Colk; Ergun Yurdakul; Senerapal; and Seyit Keklik, all working at a project in the village for Turkish construction company Istanbul Concrete Limited. According to local authorities, no ransom has been demanded yet and a team under Operation Puff Adder has already been dispatched to rescue the expatriates. FULL ARTICLE (1)

ASIA

6. (PHILIPPINES, 19/07/19) Abducted Taiwanese national rescued in Manila
On 18 July, Philippine police rescued a Taiwanese national who had been abducted by two Chinese men from a hotel in Manila. The two Chinese captors were apprehended in the rescue operation that was initiated after the victim’s friend reported the abduction. According to initial investigations, the victim, identified as Mr Tsai, borrowed gambling chips worth 200,000 pesos (approximately USD 4,300) from loan sharks at a casino. After losing all the money, he was held against his will at a hotel. According to Philippine police statistics, 11 Taiwanese nationals were illegally detained in similar incidents in the Philippines in 2018, mostly by Chinese perpetrators. FULL ARTICLE