Kidnap & Ransom Update July 24, 2018
24-Jul-18

AMERICAS

1. (MEXICO, 21/07/18) Kidnapped businessman rescued in Tijuana
Anti-kidnapping police in Tijuana, in collaboration with a unit of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), rescued a businessman and arrested five suspected kidnappers. The businessman was kidnapped on 17 July as he arrived at a car repair shop. The incident was reported by the victim’s family to the Mexican authorities on 18 July, after receiving several calls demanding the payment of a ransom. The rescue operation took place on 19 July. It was not mentioned what prompted the intervention of the FBI in the case, but it is possible the victim may have been an American citizen. FULL ARTICLE

2. (COLOMBIA, 22/07/18) ELN hostage rescued by the Colombian army
Colombian armed forces rescued on 22 July a businessman who had been kidnapped by guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) in the department of Norte de Santander. The businessman was kidnapped on 21 July while he was driving in the locality of Santa Barbara. Several armed men singled him out from the group of people in the vehicle and violently forced him to go with them. The abductors reportedly demanded a ransom of COP1 billion (346,000). While it is not clear what was the final sum paid by the businessman’s family, the authorities declared having recovered COP50 million (USD 17,000) during the rescue operation. According to the commander leading the operation, there was a confrontation with the kidnappers, which resulted in one dead militant and three more captured. FULL ARTICLE (1)

MIDDLE EAST

3. (IRAQ, 21/07/18) Chinese national kidnapped in Wasit
Police in Wasit province informed on the rescue of a Chinese engineer. The kidnappers were arrested during the security operation that took place in an area north of Wasit province, southeast of Baghdad. The victim was working on a sewage project for the China Geo-Engineering Corporation (CGC) in the district of Essaouira when he was kidnapped on 18 July. No more information was available on the case. FULL ARTICLE

4. (UAE, 22/07/18) Chinese woman accused of kidnap and murder of her partner
A Chinese woman masterminded the kidnapping of her partner in Dubai before fleeing from justice. A Dubai Criminal Court was told the woman urged four compatriots to carry out the kidnapping of her partner, who later died of injuries caused by his captors. The victim, also from China, had been reported missing by his son in August 2017. The victim’s son said he initially received messages, allegedly from his father, saying he would be travelling. After some days, he received a voice message, in which he was told his father was kidnapped and a ransom was demanded. The son, who lives in New Zealand, travelled to China to report the incident. There, it was found that multiple bank transfers were made from his father’s accounts while he was missing. Investigations by the Dubai authorities revealed that the suspects had left the country on 8 August. Three of them were arrested upon their return to Dubai on 15 September 2017. During questioning, the suspects denied the accusations, saying they only confronted the man for abusing his girlfriend and he suddenly had a seizure. A medical report said the victim died from multiple fractures. The culprits buried the body in desert land near Abu Dhabi. The woman and another accomplice remain at large. FULL ARTICLE

5. (UAE, 22/07/18) British tourist accused of kidnapping in Dubai
A British tourist has been accused of kidnapping a man on 3 June 2018, in an effort to reclaim money he was owed. According to prosecutors, the accused, pretending to be a female on social media, enticed his victim to fly out to Dubai from an unknown country. After the victim showed at a hotel for the meeting, he was not allowed to leave. During the 24-hour ordeal, the British man allegedly threatened to kill the victim unless his brother paid him or agreed to give up ownership of a real estate unit in Dubai. The victim was rescued and the hostage taker arrested after the victim’s brother reported the incident to relatives living in Dubai, who in turn contacted the police. The victim’s brother said he was contacted by the aggressor, who threatened to kill his brother if he did not pay his debt. The defendant has denied the charges, saying the victim was never held against his will and that he had “politely asked” to be paid. FULL ARTICLE

6. (TURKEY, 22/07/18) Another mysterious abduction in Turkey
An academic, who was fired from his university job by a government decree under the state of emergency declared in the aftermath of the 2016 coup attempt, was reportedly abducted by an unknown group of people on 21 July. Hasan Kala, who was accused of having links to the Gülen movement, was forced into a black van in Ankara’s Batıkent district. At least 13 people have been abducted in a similar fashion in Turkey, 11 of them in Ankara. It is believed the abductions have been carried out by members of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT). These abductions have generated fears among Human Rights groups that enforced disappearances are once again taking place in the country. FULL ARTICLE

AFRICA

7. (CAMEROON, 20/07/18) Another traditional ruler kidnapped by Anglophone militants
Atancho Felix, the traditional ruler of Bukari, a village in Bafut Sub Division in the North-West Region of Cameroon, was kidnapped on 20 July by gunmen suspected to be Anglophone separatists. The reasons for his abduction are unknown, but security forces have since opened investigations to trace the victim. This incident follows the kidnapping of Kinge Molombe, the traditional ruler of Moli village, near Buea, on 19 July. Additionally, at least other eight traditional rulers were kidnapped last week in Fako Division, South-West Province. FULL ARTICLE

8. (CHAD, 22/07/18) At least 10 abducted in Boko Haram attack
Authorities in Chad ordered the precautionary evacuation of a village near the border with Niger after a Boko Haram attack on 19 July. At least 3,000 people were forced to leave their homes in a village south of Daboua, Lake Chad region, near the border with Niger, after an attack by the terror group that left at least 18 people dead. Lake Chad governor, Mohammed Aba Salah, said the fighters also kidnapped 10 women, one of which managed to escape and return home. Chad has seen a recent increase in attacks by Boko Haram, while Niger’s army on 21 May killed 10 Boko Haram militants after an attack on one of its military positions in the southwest. FULL ARTICLE (1)

ASIA

9. (PHILIPPINES, 20/07/18) Manila cops arrested for kidnap for ransom
On 19 July, the Philippine National Police Counter-Intelligence Task Force (PNP-CITF) arrested two Manila Police District (MPD) officers, allegedly involved in kidnap for ransom. A police helper was also arrested, having allegedly received the extortion money. Reports indicated that the two arrested policemen, along with four other colleagues, demanded P100,000 (USD 2,000) in exchange for the release of eight individuals, who they arrested on 18 July on fabricated charges of human trafficking. The wife of one of the victims reported the incident to the CITF after paying P50,000 (USD 1,000) to the officers. Investigations revealed that the accused policemen never submitted a written report on the operation where the eight victims were arrested. The operation was also not filed in the police logbook. FULL ARTICLE

10. (PAKISTAN, 22/07/18) Daska police arrest three kidnappers
Police in the town of Daska, Punjab province, arrested three men suspected in the kidnapping of three people. The accused reportedly kidnapped a well-known Daska orthopedist, his son, and their employee. The kidnappers released the victims after allegedly receiving a ransom of Rs7 million (USD 54,000) in cash and a new luxury car worth Rs3 million (USD 23,000). FULL ARTICLE