Kidnap & Ransom Update – June 19, 2019
19-Jun-19

AMERICAS

1. (CANADA, 16/06/19) Ransom paid and later recovered in Calgary

Calgary authorities said that nearly CAD 20,000 (almost USD 15,000) that had been paid in a recent kidnapping case have been recovered. The two male victims were lured to a 7-Eleven parking lot to meet someone who was going to sell them laptops. They were then driven away by the three men they met, and taken to a property in the Erin Woods neighbourhood, where two other individuals waited. The victims were then bound with duct tape and forced to the basement while the kidnappers contacted their friends and demanded a CAN 50,000 (over USD 37,000) ransom, threatening to kill the hostages if this was not paid. The friends were able to collect CAN 19,700 (almost USD 15,000) and a meeting was arranged to exchange one of the victims for the cash. The other man would be released with a second payment, but the kidnappers were arrested by the authorities at the meeting point. The police later raided the kidnappers’ safe house rescuing the remaining hostage and recovering the initially payment. FULL ARTICLE

2. (MEXICO, 18/06/19) Honduran migrant kidnapped for ransom in border city

A Honduran migrant was kidnapped and sexually assaulted after seeking asylum in the US and being turned away. Although being returned to Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua State, under the “safe return” program of Trump regime, she was kidnapped from her accommodation in the city on 10 June. The woman said that a group of men who identified themselves as federal police forcefully entered the accommodation, where she and other migrants were lodged and abducted her, along with the property owner and his mother. The kidnappers later established communication with the woman’s relatives in the US and demanded a ransom payment of USD 6,000, which was paid. It was reported that the criminals demanded USD 10,000 for the other two victims, although in that case, an agreement was reached for the payment of MXP 27,000 (USD 1,400). In spite that in both cases a ransom was paid, none of the victims were released. They only regained their freedom when they were rescued by Mexican security forces on 14 June, following reports on suspicious activity by neighbours. The migrant believes the kidnapping was orchestrated by a woman she had previously met to help her cross the border illegally. FULL ARTICLE

AFRICA

3. (SENEGAL, 16/06/19) Three Chinese briefly kidnapped in Casamance

According to Senegalese media citing military sources, three Chinese workers were abducted by heavily armed men in the rural commune of Ouonck, Bignona department of Casamance region, on 16 June. The victims are reportedly employees of a construction company building a bridge in the area. The Chinese hostages were later found tied up, abandoned by their kidnappers in the Kanoulaye forest. Their vehicles and equipment could not been found. FULL ARTICLE

ASIA

4. (MALAYSIA, 18/06/19) Syrian charged with kidnapping of fellow countryman

The 31-year-old Syrian national, named in court documents only as Maher, was accused of having kidnapped his compatriot, Mr Kattan, a cook, behind a Shawerma restaurant in Jalan Tanjung Tokong Penang, on 6 June, with the intention to get RM 100,000 (nearly USD 24,000) in ransom money. Police managed to track down the group and detained two Syrian men, aged between 30 and 50, and a local 30-year-old woman, and rescued the victim within four hours. If convicted, Maher could face lifetime imprisonment with whipping. Both the victim and the suspect are refugees in the country. FULL ARTICLE (1)

5. (MALAYSIA, 18/06/19) 10 fishermen kidnapped off Sabah

Suspected Abu Sayyaf-linked gunmen are believed to have abducted 10 fishermen from two boats off Sabah, Malaysia, and taken towards the Tawi Tawi islands in southern Philippines. The fishermen were taken from two vessels as they were heading towards the town of Semporna in Borneo, on 18 June. The two fishing boats were believed to have been operating during curfew hours without a permit. All the victims are believed to be Filipinos. According to six fishermen who were not taken in the attack, the unidentified heavily armed men who arrived speedboats, wore military uniforms and spoke Malay. No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction, but Malaysian authorities are looking at possible ties with the Abu Sayyaf. While they are not certain as to the exact motive of the abduction, the authorities suspect it is for ransom. After the incident, the Sabah police remarked that there are only a few kidnapping groups active in the region, who have recently been targeting fishermen and boat owners. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2)

6. (CAMBODIA, 19/06/19) 12 Chinese nationals arrested for kidnapping countrymen over unpaid gambling loans

12 Chinese men have been arrested in Poipet town. The Chinese nationals were arrested over charges of kidnapping three compatriots after they failed to pay their gambling loans. The suspects loaned money to other Chinese people and charged very high interests interest for the loans. After the victims in this case failed to pay their loans, the suspects took them captive, assaulted them and held them against their will. The perpetrators were arrested after the Chinese embassy in Cambodia provided the local police with the identity of the victims after their parents approached the Chinese authorities back home. It is unclear how long the victims were held captive. FULL ARTICLE