Kidnap & Ransom update June 6, 2018
5-Jun-18

AMERICAS

1. (COLOMBIA, 04/06/18 FARC dissident group claims kidnapping and killing of activist
A Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dissident group called the United Force of the Pacific uploaded a video on social networks, claiming the kidnapping of four activists and the killing of one of them. In the video, the militants identified the kidnapping victims as Obdulio Angulo Zamora, Elver Angulo Zamora and Simeon Zamora, abducted on 17 April; in addition to Íber Angulo Zamora, who the militants claimed is now dead. Zamora was kidnaped on 5 May while he was traveling with a humanitarian commission from the Ombudsman’s Office after a kidnapping attempt at his home on 2 May. The Colombian authorities are currently investigating the veracity of these claims and whether the three other victims have been murdered. FULL ARTICLE

2. (VENEZUELA, 04/06/18)Kidnapped Italian businessman rescued in Zulia
A businessman of Italian nationality was rescued from a group of criminals who had abducted him early on 4 June. The 78-year-old victim was taken away inside his own vehicle after being intercepted at a village of the Simón Bolivar municipality of Zulia State. The rescue was carried out by the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) after the incident was reported. At the moment of the attack, Aquiles Marinelli was in the company of his wife and son, who were released by the criminal soon after so they could go gather the demanded ransom. The plan was foiled after a few hours when the authorities located the criminals, who let the victim go and escaped. FULL ARTICLE (1)

3. (MEXICO, 04/06/18) Kidnapped businessman rescued unharmed in Puebla
The Prosecutor’s Office for High Impact Crimes and Kidnapping (FISDAI), rescued unharmed a kidnapped merchant. During the operation, three people, part of a criminal gang dedicated to kidnapping, were detained. On 28 May, the 53-year-old merchant was intercepted by unknown individuals while on his car, just after leaving his home in the municipality of Tecamachalco, Puebla State. Hours later, his family received a call from a man who demanded 3 million pesos (USD 150,000) as ransom. The family immediately reported the incident to the authorities, who assessing the victim was at high risk of being killed by his captors as the victim knew them, decided to carry out a rescue operation. Further investigations revealed the suspects are linked to at least two other kidnapping cases in the area. FULL ARTICLE

EUROPE

4. (RUSSIA, 04/06/18) Police detain abductors of expatriate in St. Petersburg In St. Petersburg, four members of a Central Asian criminal group were detained for the kidnapping of a foreign taxi driver and demanding a ransom of 550,000 rubles (almost USD 9,000) for his release. The Uzbek taxi driver was kidnapped on 31 May outside a building in the area of Lesnoy Prospekt as he came to pick up the perpetrators who alleged to be customers. The suspects called the victim’s brother to demand a ransom, and explained this was on account of a debt acquired by the taxi driver. The brother managed to gather the money and asked a friend to deliver it. However, when delivering the money, the criminals seized the man and took him hostage. The kidnappers then continued to put forward demands for additional payments. As no further payment took place, the victims were released on 2 June to go gather the additional amount themselves, but the police arrested the kidnappers before any other payment took place. FULL ARTICLE (1)

AFRICA

5. (MALI, 04/05/18) Negotiations started for Swiss hostage in Mali
On 3 June, a Swiss TV channel aired a report on the two Swiss hostages held in Mali, Beatrice Stöckli and dual national (Swiss/French) Sophie Pétronin. The programme showed an excerpt from a recent video broadcasted by their abductors, showing Stöckli holding a letter and a photo received from Switzerland. According to the journalist who carried out this report, this shows that contact has been established between Switzerland and the kidnappers, and that negotiations for her release have begun. On the other hand, Sophie Pétronin’s son has complained about the inaction of the French government in the last 15 months. Sebastian Pétronin has also expressed worry about the apparent deterioration of his mother’s health, which can be seen in her latest appearance on video in March 2018. Both women are being held by Al-Qaeda linked militant group Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM). FULL ARTICLE (1)

6. (MADAGASCAR, 04/05/18) Karana businessman kidnapped in Andakana
Rishi Chandarana, a businessman of Indian origin (“Karana”) was kidnapped on 3 June by gunmen on his way back home from the Rova Golf Course in Andakana. This is the second kidnapping in the family, which owns the Hotel Mellis in the Tsaralanana area of Antananarivo. Rishi’s father, Pradeep Chandarana was kidnapped on 7 June 2017 and he was released after a few weeks, following a large ransom payment. Rishi’s abduction is the second kidnapping of a Karana in less than two weeks. FULL ARTICLE

7. (EGYPT, 05/05/18) Six detained over kidnapping for ransom
Six people have been arrested for their involvement in the kidnapping for ransom of the son of a businessman in Giza. The incident was reported by the father of the victim, the owner of a contracting company, who said his 4-year-old son had been kidnapped by unknown men and that a ransom of EGP 2 million (over USD 111,000) had been paid for his release. The child was released soon after the father went to the police as the kidnappers feared being arrested. Six people were arrested for the crime, including the guard at the family’s residence. The six confessed to the crime. FULL ARTICLE

ASIA

8. (INDIA, 01/05/18) Assam youth abducted, killed by rebels
Rebels from the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) abducted a youth from an Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam. The youth was initially abducted along with his father, who was later let go by the militants after a severe beating, only to gather the ransom for his son. The hostage was killed after his family failed to pay the Rs 10 lakh (USD 15,000) demanded. FULL ARTICLE

9. (BANGLADESH, 01/05/18) Coast guard rescues 18 abducted fishermen
Members of the Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG) rescued 18 fishermen who were kidnapped by pirates in the Sundarbans. The rescue took place in an area adjacent to Noliyan Para, right after the kidnapping was reported the same morning. Sensing the presence of the law enforcers, the criminals escaped, leaving the victims behind. 11 trawlers were sized seized from the spot but no pirates were arrested. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2)