Kidnap & Ransom update October 30, 2018
30-Oct-18

AMERICAS

1. (VENEZUELA, 29/10/18) Kidnapping allegedly decreasing in Venezuela

According to government officials, kidnapping in Venezuela has observed a decreased in 2018, compared to the previous year, though no specific numbers were mentioned. It was additionally reported that the security agencies continue to carry out operations in the states with the highest number of incidents, including Caracas, Miranda and Zulia. FULL ARTICLE (1)

2. (MEXICO, 29/10/18) Student killed after family couldn’t pay ransom

A kidnapped student was found dead on the banks of the Misantla River in Veracruz State. The body was discovered on 26 October, handcuffed and showing signs of torture. The parents of the deceased told local media that the 20 year-old was abducted last week as he was heading to school, and his kidnappers had demanded three million pesos (USD 152,000) to release him. However, the family being of scarce economic resources, could not pay the demanded amount. FULL ARTICLE (1)

AFRICA

3. (CONGO, 29/10/18) NATO reports vessel hijacked off Congo

NATO reported that two merchant ships came under attack off the Republic of Congo. While one was reported safe, the other was successfully hijacked with its crew on board. The organisation’s piracy reporting body Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG) said the attack took place 102nm of Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo. FULL ARTICLE

4. (NIGERIA, 29/10/18) Nigerian pirates release crew from Swiss ship

12 sailors kidnapped from the MV Glarus, a Swiss merchant vessel owned by Massoel Shipping, have been released by their abductors one month after they were taken. According to Swiss authorities, the release of the hostages took place on 26 October. The shipping company failed to provide details on how it secured the freedom of its crew “as to do so would only encourage further criminal acts of this kind”. However, the company is believed to have paid a ransom to the pirates as it was earlier reported it was in communication with them for the negotiation of the sailors’ release. Pirates boarded the ship while it was travelling between Lagos and Port Harcourt, and abducted its crew on 22 September. Seven of the abducted victims are from the Philippines, while the other five are from Slovenia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia and Bosnia. FULL ARTICLE

5. (NIGERIA, 29/10/18) Pirates abduct 11 from container ship

Pirates have seized 11 crewmembers from the container ship ‘Pomerenia Sky’ off the coast of Nigeria. The Liberia-flagged vessel owned by Peter Döhle Schiffahrts and chartered out to Maersk Line, was headed for the Nigerian port of Onne on the morning of 27 October when the attack occurred, according to the ship’s manager, Midocean Ltd. According to the company, those abducted include eight sailors from Poland, two Filipinos and a Ukrainian. Nine crew members, who remained on board the vessel and escaped unharmed, sailed the vessel to safety. According to polish media sources, talks with the kidnappers have already started. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2)

6. (NIGERIA, 30/10/18) Leah Sharibu’s abductors demand large ransom

Members of the Boko Haram faction that kidnapped Leah Sharibu alongside over 100 students in Dapchi, Yobe State, early this year, have demanded a N100 billion (over USD 275 million) ransom to release the girl, a Nigerian diplomatic source said on 27 October. The source, who claimed to be involved in the negotiation for the release of the schoolgirl, said there were fears that the terrorists could use the cash to acquire weapons. Meanwhile, the Nigerian military said it is “doing all it should to rescue all the captives in the Boko Haram’s hold”. FULL ARTICLE

ASIA

7. (PAKISTAN, 28/10/18) Two abducted Nigerian nationals rescued in Sindh

The anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) of the Pakistani police, acting on a tip-off, rescued two abducted foreigners in Karachi on 27 October. During the operation, the abducted Nigerian nationals were rescued after minor resistance from the kidnappers. Only one suspect was arrested and is now being interrogated by police. Other two suspects managed to escape. No more details on the kidnapping have been revealed. FULL ARTICLE (1)

8. (AFGHANISTAN, 28/10/18) 13 abducted utility workers freed in Laghman

On 27 October, Taliban released more than a dozen Da Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (DABS) workers who the group had abducted two weeks ago in Badpakh district of eastern Laghman province. According to a spokesman for the governor of Laghman province, the workers were freed thanks to mediation by tribal elders. The DABS workers were in Badpakh district to reconnect broken power cables when they were kidnapped by the insurgents. FULL ARTICLE

9. (MALAYSIA, 30/10/18) Abu Sayyaf seeking to kidnap seafarers and businessmen off Sabah

The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) issued a warning that a group of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists are looking to kidnap seafarers and businessmen off Sabah, East Malaysia. In this, its second specific warning this year, ReCAAP said that it had been advised by the Philippines Coast Guard that “a group of approximately 10 ASG members, armed with pistol, rifles and grenade launchers, is planning to conduct kidnapping activities at any opportune time in undisclosed areas in Sabah, primarily targeting businessmen or ship’s crew of foreign vessels passing through the area”. The warning additionally said the men are likely to use unmarked coloured blue and white boats locally known as ‘jungkong’. “Ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance when transiting the waters off Eastern Sabah and Sulu-Celebes Seas.” ReCAAP said. FULL ARTICLE