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Kidnap & Ransom update November 27, 2018


1. (MEXICO, 25/11/18) Video of kidnapped migrant gone viral on social media

A video showing Guatemalan migrant Isidoro Saban being tortured by his kidnappers in Mexico has gone viral on social media. Saban was kidnapped along with his 10-year-old son by suspected cartel members as they travelled to the US. Reportedly, the kidnappers demanded a ransom of USD 50,000 from their family and sent the video to press for the payment. In the video, more people, possibly other victims, can be heard crying in the background. According to some Guatemalan media sources, the migrants were kidnapped on 1 November in Chiapas State, and released on 9 November, after the family paid USD 5,000. FULL ARTICLE (1)

2. (MEXICO, 25/11/18) US Army veteran and two others kidnapped in Mexican border city

Cartel gunmen kidnapped a US Army veteran, his sister – also an American citizen-, and her boyfriend in the Mexican border city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila. Coahuila state authorities recovered the body of one victim and rescued the two others (the veteran and his sister), who were taken to a Texas hospital where the army veteran is said to be in serious condition. The kidnapping took place on the night of 23 November, when a team of at least 20 gunmen in three SUVs stormed a residence in the Infonavit neighbourhood. Reportedly, the group had a clear mission to kidnap the three individuals. The gunmen also stole two vehicles from the property. The state authorities located the three victims the next morning and arrested two suspected kidnappers, who were guarding the victim, at a house in the rural community of El Moral. The murdered victim and the veteran had both been tortured. Authorities have not established a motive for the kidnapping and murder, but is had been speculated that the victims may have had ties to criminal activity. FULL ARTICLE (1)


3. (UAE, 26/11/18) Dubai court charges three for kidnapping of Indian traders

Three men were charged at the Dubai Court of First Instance on 26 November for posing as cops and kidnapping three Indian traders. According to public prosecution records, the trio, two of them aged below 20 years-old, on 14 March 2017 convinced the victims to board their car after falsely claiming to be police and telling them that they were wanted for dealing in virtual currency. The victims were then taken to a property in Al Barsha, where they forced the victims to transfer 25 bitcoins (worth approximately 92,600 USD at today’s exchange rate). Reportedly, the three accused had four Indian accomplices who received a payment of Dh250,000 (USD 68,000) for services not mentioned in the court reports. It is reported that some of the victims’ staff were also paid by the accused to provide information on the traders. FULL ARTICLE


4. (SENEGAL, 25/11/18) Guinea- Bissau child escapes kidnapping

A young boy from Guinea- Bissau escaped his captors on 22 November in Brigadier, a town not far from the border between Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. The boy was found on the road by a local. The boy said he was kidnapped from a road in his community, after a vehicle parked in front of him. Reportedly, a number of men step down from the car and took him away in the vehicle. According to the victim, he managed to escape while the men tried to take another child in Brigadier. It is unclear if the kidnappers intended to demand a ransom for the boy. FULL ARTICLE

5. (NIGERIA, 27/11/18) Nigerian police rescue abducted American in Lagos

On 26 November, operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) rescued an abducted American national and arrested her kidnappers. The woman was raped before she was rescued. According to police reports, the rescue took place after the American Embassy in Lagos reported the incident to the DSS. Tawanda Lynn Jackson arrived in Lagos on 11 November, where she was initially met by the suspects. After gaining her trust, on 21 November, the men took her to a property in the neighbourhood of Abule Egba, where they held her hostage. She had met one of her captors on social media, where he claimed to be a wealthy prince from the Arogbatesu royal family of Ile-Ife in Osun State. The suspects reportedly had the intention of extorting money from the victim. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2)

6. (MADAGASCAR, 27/11/18) French businessman released in Toamasina

Harman Kamis, owner of transport company Transfy, was reportedly released on 26 November. According to Malagasy authorities, Kamis was rescued by security forces in the Toamasina district of Antsarakofafa, without any ransom having been paid. One kidnapper was arrested during the raid. The Franco-Indian businessman was kidnapped by four armed men on 20 November in Toamasina. Reportedly, the kidnappers had demanded a ransom of 4 billion ariary (approximately USD 1.1 million). FULL ARTICLE


7. (PAKISTAN, 23/11/18) Peshawar police rescue two Lahore businessmen

On 23 November, Lahore police, with the cooperation of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Peshawar, recovered two Lahore-based businessmen and arrested five abductors, including two women. The businessmen were abducted from Ring Road in Peshawar on 8 November, while on their way back to Lahore. Soon after their kidnapping, the victims’ relatives started receiving phone calls from Afghanistan, during which the kidnappers demanded a ransom payment of Rs. 500 million (USD 3.7 million). The relatives reported the incident to the authorities, who after investigations located the kidnappers’ hideout in the Faqirabad area of Peshawar, from where the victims were rescued. FULL ARTICLE (1)