Kidnap & Ransom update October 7, 2018
7-Oct-18

AMERICAS

1. (BRAZIL, 05/10/18) Footballer victim of express kidnapping in Sao Paolo

Former Brazilian player of FC Barcelona Vitinho and his girlfriend were held hostage for two hours in ​​the Agua Blanca favela in São Paulo. The professional footballer was abducted by a number of armed men as he was leaving a training session with his partner. The captors stole their credit cards and made purchases online. When the cards’ limit was reached, the two victims were released. The criminals kept Vitinho’s car. The Sao Paolo police have so far arrested two suspects. FULL ARTICLE

2. (TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, 05/10/18) Kidnapping victim released after five months

Darrell Cuffy, the son of a businessman in the maritime industry, has been released by his captors, five months after his kidnapping. The conditions of the man’s release are unknown, as according to the family, no ransom was paid. Darrell was abducted on 25 April 2018 as he was driving his father’s car at Fairways, Maraval, around 8.45 pm. Footage from surveillance cameras showed he was taken by two men in a dark SUV. The family was contacted by the kidnappers for the first time 80 days after the incident, demanding an undisclosed ransom. In this first communication, the kidnappers reportedly stated they expected the businessman to sell one of his vessels to pay the ransom. The businessman at the time said that although he initially considered doing so, he decided not to pay. Darrel’s condition after the release was reported stable, and although he was kept in harsh conditions in the bush and he lost significant weight, he said he was not assaulted and was regularly fed. The victim’s father said he has no idea why his son was targeted or why the kidnappers chose to keep him for five months, as he insisted they are not wealthy. FULL ARTICLE (1)

EUROPE

3. (SPAIN, 04/10/18) Kidnapped man found dead in Andalucía

Just two hours after his violent kidnapping in Estepona, Malaga, on 2 October, the police found the victim’s body in a ditch in Algeciras, Andalucía. The man was attacked outside a restaurant by four heavily armed masked men who shot at him as he tried to escape. The man was finally caught and taken away on a luxury car, driven by several other gunmen. Investigations determined the victim had a criminal record for drugs trafficking and tobacco smuggling. In the last month, the Spanish western coast has been the scene of several violent episodes linked to conflicts between groups of narco-traffickers. FULL ARTICLE

4. (SWEDEN, 05/10/18) Latvian kidnapped in Sweden rescued by Latvian authorities

A 47-year-old Latvian, who was kidnapped in Sweden and taken back to Latvia on a yacht, was released on a special operation by Latvian authorities. According to the Latvia’s State Police, relatives of the abducted man reported the incident to Latvian law enforcement on 3 October. After the report, a rescue operation was coordinated among elements of the Omega antiterrorist detachment, the National Armed Forces (NAF) and the border guard, who located the yacht in the Gulf of Riga, about two hours from the coast of the Latvian capital. The victim was finally released and a suspect arrested just five hours after the relatives reported the incident. Police reports have established the victim knew his captor but have not yet specified what his motive was. FULL ARTICLE

AFRICA

5. (SUDAN, 06/10/18) Twelve Libyan fishermen kidnapped in Sudanese territory

A number of social networking sites reported the abduction of 12 Libyan fishermen by a Chadian gang at the tri-border area between Libya, Chad and Sudan. A spokesman for the Libyan military confirmed the incident, saying the fishermen were kidnapped by a Chadian criminal group and not by the Sudanese rapid intervention forces as it had been initially speculated. The incident reportedly took place in the area of Mermak, Sudan, 500 km southeast of Kufra; just after the fishermen entered Sudanese territory by mistake. Reportedly, the kidnappers have demanded a ransom of 120,000 Libyan dinars (USD 85,500) for their release. FULL ARTICLE (1)

ASIA

6. (CHINA, 06/10/18) Interpol urges China to clarify status of missing president

The international police agency, Interpol, has urged China to clarify the status of its president, Meng Hongwei, who has gone missing after a visit to France. The agency said it was concerned about the well-being of its president. His family have not heard from him since he left the Interpol HQ in the French city of Lyon on 25 September. The Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post quoted a source saying Mr Meng, was “taken away” by discipline authorities for questioning in China. It is not clear why he is being investigated or where he is being held, the newspaper said. The Chinese authorities have offered no comment, while a diplomatic official in condition of anonymity said the French authorities were aware of the disappearance but had no more information on the incident. FULL ARTICLE (1)