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Kidnap & Ransom Update – July 5, 2019


1. (MEXICO, 04/07/19) Five arrested in kidnapping of call center employees in Cancun

Five suspects, including a foreign national, have been arrested in the kidnapping of more than two dozen call center workers in the Mexican tourist city of Cancun, a state official said on 3 July. The authorities added that among the 27 people rescued on 3 July, was the owner of the center. Three of the kidnappers had been arrested immediately during the rescue operation, while other two were arrested later on the same day in subsequent operations. At least three other suspects remain at large. Cancun officials said that although the incident was believed to be linked to a business dispute, they are investigating whether the suspects were drug cartel members. The incident took place in the context of recent increase in violence in the city, perpetrated by members of the five cartels with presence in the region. FULL ARTICLE (1)


2. (PORTUGAL, 03/07/19) Police dismantles gang behind kidnapping of Angolan student

On 2 July, the Portuguese Judicial Police (PJ) arrested four men responsible for the abduction of an Angolan university student in May. According to the PJ, the unnamed student was abducted with violence from the streets of Lisbon at dawn and held for several hours, during which he was tortured and threatened, before his captors demanded a ransom. No more information was released on the case. FULL ARTICLE (1)


3. (NIGERIA, 04/07/19) Gunmen abduct two Chinese nationals, kill security escort

Two Chinese nationals working for a glass and aluminum company, were kidnapped by unknown gunmen in the outskirts of Benin City, Edo State’s capital city. The attack took place on the evening of 3 July, on the Benin-Auchi road near Utesi community, where the company is located. The victims were said to be on their way home when the gunmen blocked their vehicle and abducted them after killing the security officer attached to them. It is believe the kidnappers waited for the victims outside their place of work and trailed them until they reached the highway. FULL ARTICLE

4. (NIGERIA, 04/07/19) Vessel owners appeal for Ghanaian rescuer’s release

The owners of vessel MT APECUS have called for the immediate release of Ghanaian national Charles Marccathy, who was held hostage after helping to secure the release of six crew members who had been held captive for over two months. According to a company spokesman, the owners of the vessel had arranged through Marccathy the ransom and exchange, which was effected at midnight on 2 June. Reportedly, after releasing the six victims, the kidnappers decided to held Marccathy hostage and again demand a ransom from the owners of the vessel. The company is now appealing to the Nigerian authorities to secure his release. However, the spokesman criticized the Nigerian security agencies, as well as the Indian government, for doing nothing and later taking credit for the release of the six crew members, five Indian nationals and their Nigeria captain. FULL ARTICLE

5. (MOZAMBIQUE, 04/07/19) Prominent businessman kidnapped in Maputo

On 4 July, the Mozambican police (PRMM) confirmed information that the owner of a well-known clothing store in central Maputo was abducted about two weeks ago. Police spokesman Orlando Modumane said that the National Criminal Investigation Service (Sernic) is investigating the case, but did not elaborate. The retail businessman is the second entrepreneur to be abducted this year in Maputo after the owner of a well-known wine house, who was held captive for a few weeks in the capital and released under unknown circumstances. FULL ARTICLE


6. (NORTH KOREA, 04/07/19) Young Australian detained in North Korea released

Alek Sigley, an Australian student who disappeared two weeks ago in North Korea, and was later known to have been detained by North Korean authorities, was released and safe in China, according to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Sigley was reportedly released after mediation of a Swedish diplomatic delegation. The reason for his detention remains unknown, with Sigley refusing to comment on the incident after his release. The student’s disappearance was reported by his family on 27 June after he could not be contacted on WhatsApp as “usual.” FULL ARTICLE (1)

7. (PHILIPPINES, 04/07/19) Two men arrested for kidnapping Chinese national

On 4 July, Manila police rescued a kidnapped Chinese man identified as Jiang Fan Li, also arresting two of his captors, in Makati City, Metro Manila. According to initial police investigations, the arrested suspects, both local nationals, had been hired by the victim’s employer, who is also a Chinese citizen. Reportedly, the victim, who had been working for a month in an online gaming company, was kidnapped after he stole about 50,000 renminbi (over USD 7,000) in earnings of the company. The police conducted the rescue operation after a concerned neighbor reported that a Chinese man was being abused and held captive in one of the rooms at his building. FULL ARTICLE (1)