Kidnap & Ransom update June 26, 2018
26-Jun-18

AMERICAS

1. (US, 22/06/18) Suspect charged in kidnapping of man held for ransom and later found dead
US authorities said a suspect has been arrested in the kidnapping of a Maryland man found fatally shot in Washington DC. Police said Andre Simmons Jr. was abducted on 19 June near his Bowie home. The kidnappers called relatives on the same day, demanding a ransom. Court documents state that a relative paid USD 7,000 the next day in Washington, hours before Simmons was found dead. According to reports, the suspect has been charged with the kidnapping, but no charges were filed against him for Moore’s murder. FULL ARTICLE

2. (COLOMBIA, 22/06/18) Venezuelan woman kidnapped in Bogotá
A Venezuelan publicist was reported kidnapped by her family on 21 June, four days after her disappearance. The family reported the incident after they received a call from the victim in which she stated she had been kidnapped and needed help. They reportedly tried to call her back on the same number but the phone has been switched off ever since. Luriana Naranjo had been working in the country for fourth months, living with her brother who has been in Colombia for over four years. Her disappearance was noticed by her boss on 18 June when she did not show up for work, without any notice. She was last seen on 17 June when she left a gathering at her uncle’s house in El Tunal area of Bogotá. The Colombian authorities are currently investigating the case. FULL ARTICLE</p>

3. (MEXICO, 25/06/18) Anti-kidnapping authority proposes banning of ransom payments in Mexico
Patricia Bugarin, head of the National Anti-kidnapping Coordination (Conase), considered that legislators should analyze ideas such as prohibiting the payment of ransoms and negotiation with kidnappers, and securing the bank accounts of relatives of the victims to guarantee no ransom payments take place. In an interview, the official said that although it is a complicated issue because it involves the cost of lives, it should be discussed. To support her position, she gave the examples of countries such as France and Italy, where these measures were implemented and kidnapping has become rare. FULL ARTICLE

EUROPE

4. (UKRAINE, 25/06/18) Son of Libyan diplomat kidnapped in central Kiev
About 12:00 local time, Shevchenkivsky police department began to receive messages from witnesses reporting a kidnapping on Turhenivska street, in which two people forcibly put an unidentified man in a car and drove off. The Kyiv police, after finding a passport at the crime scene, identified the abducted person as Abdusalam, a Libyan citizen, son of the financial attaché of the Libyan embassy in Ukraine. An official within the Ministry of Internal Affairs has suggested that the kidnapping was committed for the purpose of ransom, in connection with the “financial capabilities of the family.” FULL ARTICLE

MIDDLE EAST

5. (IRAQ, 23/06/18) IS communicates demands in hostage video
The Islamic State (IS) group released a hostage video on 23 June, demanding the release of all Sunni women held prisoners in Iraqi jails. The group said it was giving the government a deadline of three days before they would execute the six men shown in the video, who identified themselves as Iraqi policemen and militiamen. The video was published on jihadist social media groups, one week after IS claimed the kidnapping of 17 people, including policemen and members of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which are predominantly Shia militia groups that fight for the government. A string of kidnappings claimed by IS on the highway connecting Baghdad to the north of the country has raised concerns about the lingering threat posed by the group in the country. A spokesman for the Iraqi military said he was aware of the hostage video and said the armed forces were pursuing the IS sleeper cell suspected behind the incident. FULL ARTICLE

AFRICA

6. (LIBYA, 25/06/18) Egypt calls on INTERPOL to arrest terrorists for kidnapping Egyptians in Libya
Egypt’s Attorney General, Nabil Sadek, called on INTERPOL to arrest three Libyan militants linked to the Islamic State (IS) group over charges of kidnapping Egyptian citizens in Libya. The three Libyans were accused of cooperating with Egyptian national Mohamed Ragab Hassan, who would gather information about Egyptian expatriates working in Libya, for the group to later kidnap some of them and demand ransom from their families. Reportedly, Hassan would also act as middle man between the families and IS, and would collect the ransoms. According to local media, interrogations revealed that Hassan had frequently travelled to Libya where contacted several elements of IS, and was also part of a group involved in the smuggling of illegal immigrants to Libya. FULL ARTICLE (1)

ASIA

7. (CHINA, 22/06/18) “Bossnapping” of cryptocurrency CEO in Shanghai
On 12 June, “Synth”, the founder of cryptocurrency Skycoin, was held hostage by nine members of the company’s Asian marketing team who broke into his Shanghai home. In an effort to seize Synth’s stake in Skycoin holdings, the group reportedly tied up, beat, and held at gunpoint both Synth and his partner for six hours. However, the assailants only managed to seize 18.88 Bitcoin (approximately USD 117,500) and 6466 Skycoins (approximately USD 40,000) during the robbery. According to Synth, the incident took place after the company decided to lock a number of skycoins which were alleged to have been stolen from the system. Synth also said he had a prior warning of this threat, which prompted him to “clear out all the money from the computers”. He said that without these measures taken, the stolen amount would have been much larger. The attackers have reportedly been identified. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2) (3)

8. (AFGHANISTAN, 24/06/18) Kunduz official freed after payment of ransom
The head of the High Office of Oversight and Anti-corruption (HOOAC) for Kunduz province was freed on 23 June after a ransom payment to kidnappers, local officials said. Syed Mujibullah Sadat was abducted in the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz 48 days ago. Sadat’s son said his father was released without any support from the government and reported that the kidnappers cut four of his father’s fingers in the process. He did not provide any details on the ransom payment. Meanwhile, Kunduz residents said kidnapping cases have increased in the province, with most abductees released after payment of ransom. FULL ARTICLE

9. (PHILIPPINES, 25/06/18) Chinese trader abducted in Laguna
According to police, a Chinese businessman was allegedly abducted in Cabuyao City, Laguna, on 24 June. The police report said the suspects had escaped with Huang Bo Yu alias “Roy Uy”, owner of a stainless steel shop, on board a white van at around 11:45 a.m. on Sunday in Barangay Banlic. Cabuyao police confirmed the incident and affirmed the Anti-Kidnapping Group had already taken over the case, but declined to give further details. Local media reported the criminals initially stormed the man’s shop, stealing P85,000 (USD 1,600) in cash and ransacking it. However, not happy with the loot, they decided to kidnap the owner for ransom. FULL ARTICLE (1)