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Kidnap & Ransom update November 13, 2008


1. (US, 09/11/18) Illegal immigrant kidnapped in Arizona

On 4 November, acting on a tipoff, Tempe police rescued an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, who was being held for ransom inside a hotel. After his release, the victim said he had paid 30,000 quetzals (nearly USD 4,000) to be smuggled across the border. When he arrived at the Tempe hotel, he was demanded another USD 15,000 and was threatened with death if he did not pay. A man who was arrested at the scene said he had been paid USD 200 to “babysit” the Guatemalan, knowing he was smuggled into the US. FULL ARTICLE

2. (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, 12/11/18) Nine kidnapped by Haitian mob

On 12 November, Dominican Defence Minister Rubén Darío Paulino Sem appointed a commission to investigate the kidnapping of nine Dominican doctors in the community of Palmita, Dajabón province. According to the victims’ report, they were intercepted by a mob of about 100 Haitian men armed with crude weapons. The criminals dispossessed them of all their belongings, including the motorbikes they were travelling on. They were then taken to a remote area, where another group was being held. The actions were reportedly witnessed by two Dominican soldiers, who refused to intervene. Reportedly, the doctors were released after they managed to convince their captors they were American citizens. FULL ARTICLE (1)


3. (LEBANON, 10/11/18) Bangladeshi rescued by Lebanese security forces

On 5 November a Bangladeshi woman reported the kidnapping of her brother, Saif al- Islam, to the Lebanese authorities. According to the report, she was contacted by another Bangladeshi man, who demanded a ransom payment of USD 60,000, threatening to kill and dismember her brother if this was not paid. In less than 48 hours, the Information Division of the Internal Security Forces was able to locate the kidnappers and the victim, and proceeded to raid a property in the locality of Doha Hoss, Beirut governorate. Two kidnappers, both Bangladeshi nationals, were arrested in the operation. FULL ARTICLE


4. (SOUTH AFRICA, 10/11/18) Chinese released by kidnappers in Cape Town

The wife of a restaurant owner, who was abducted the previous day, has been reunited with her family, police confirmed on 10 November. The Chinese woman was kidnapped on 9 November from the family business in Cape Town by five armed men who arrived in a black SUV. Two of the assailants reportedly stayed outside while the other three walked into the restaurant, and seeming to have knowledge of their surroundings, went right to the back and took the woman away. The woman was found in the vicinity of N1 City the next day, after she was released in unknown circumstances. According to the authorities, no ransom request was made to the family. FULL ARTICLE

5. (MALI, 11/11/18) French hostage’s health deteriorates

The communication branch of jihadist group Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) on 11 November informed on the “rapid deterioration” of the health of French hostage Sophie Petronin. The group said they hold the French president and his government fully accountable for the elderly citizen. They affirmed they did everything possible to close the case, but that the obstinacy of the French government impeded the negotiations for her release. Additionally, the Jihadists apologised to Sebastian Petronin, for not allowing him to visit his mother “for security reasons”. The group additionally promised a new statement in the coming days that will be addressed exclusively to Sebastian. Meanwhile, Sophie’s son has stated being extremely worried after the message, especially as the hostage does not appear in the video message. Sophie Petronin was abducted in in Gao, northern Mali, in December 2016. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2)

6. (MOZAMBIQUE, 11/11/18) Portuguese businessman found dead after kidnapping

A kidnapped Portuguese businessman was found dead near Maputo on 11 November. The discovery took place a few hours after the hostage’s family paid the demanded ransom. No more details have been released on the incident. FULL ARTICLE

7. (MADAGASCAR, 12/11/18) Karana kidnapped in Antananarivo

Riaz Hassim, a French businessman of Indian origin, was kidnapped on 9 November in the area of Ambatobe as he was heading home from work. His car was later found abandoned in the outskirts of Antananarivo. No more details have been released as the circumstances of the kidnapping still remain unclear. Hassim is the second ‘Karana” kidnapped in the capital in one week. FULL ARTICLE (1)

8. (NIGERIA, 12/11/18) Lebanese national kidnapped in Kano

The Kano State Police Command has launched a manhunt for the suspected kidnappers of a Lebanese national. The construction worker was abducted by gunmen early on 10 November in the locality of Tudun Wada, Kano state. The Lebanese engineer, identified as “Mr. Ameer”, had been supervising construction work on the Kano-Plateau expressway when gunmen stormed the site. The assailants reportedly shot dead a police officer guarding the victim, before abducting him. FULL ARTICLE

9. (NIGERIA, 12/11/18) Vessel attacked by pirates off Bony

On 6 November, pirates pursued and fired on an unnamed LNG tanker in the Gulf of Guinea. Nine pirates in a speedboat approached the vessel about 30 nm southwest of Bonny and opened fire. They reportedly made several attempts to get closer, but the master sped up and took evasive manoeuvres. The pirates ultimately abandoned the attack and departed. The ICC IMB reports that the vessel and crew are safe. According to experts, the vessel was able to escape the attack as it is a double-walled, insulated tank, which is not vulnerable to small arms fire. FULL ARTICLE