Kidnap & Ransom update October 9, 2018
9-Oct-18

AMERICAS

1. (HONDURAS, 04/10/18) Kidnapped minor rescued in Yoro

A 9-year-old boy was rescued by the Honduran anti-kidnapping police from a farm in El Progreso, Yoro department. The boy was abducted on 28 September, when heavily armed men entered the family home looking for money. When they were not able to get the expected money, they decided to kidnap the boy. According to police reports, the kidnappers had demanded a ransom of 1.5 million lempiras (USD 62,000) for the release of the child. The boy was rescued as a result of continuous search operations by the police. One suspect, in charge of taking care of the victim, was arrested. FULL ARTICLE

2. (MEXICO, 04/10/18) Female kidnappers arrested for abducting a businessman

A 65-year-old businessman, who was being held by to women, was released safe by members of the Morelos State police. The incident was reported to police officers patrolling the streets of Cuernavaca city by the victim’s daughter. She stated her father had been kidnapped by two women who, through deception, took him to a van where he was being held against his will while the women awaited a ransom payment of MXP 4 million (USD 212,000). Police managed to locate the vehicle, rescuing the victim and arresting the two suspects. FULL ARTICLE

3. (COSTA RICA, 06/10/18) Chinese woman released after ransom payment

A Chinese trader was held hostage for four days after a group of criminals intercepted her on 30 September as she arrived home in San José city. The kidnappers arrived in two vehicles, and threatening her with a firearm, took her way. Soon after, the criminals contacted the woman’s husband to demand USD 200,000 in exchange for her release. The husband alerted the police, who instructed him to continue the negotiations with the kidnappers. An amount of USD 17,500 was finally agreed. The police rescued the victim and arrested the six suspects as they tried to collect the money. The ransom money was recovered. FULL ARTICLE

EUROPE

4. (FRANCE, 07/10/18) Kidnappers demand ransom on Snapchat

A man was abducted in the night of 5 October from a McDonald’s in Paris. Shortly after, the victim’s brother received a video on Snapchat, showing four men beating the hostage up and threatening him with death if 30,000 euros were not paid by 4 pm on 6 October. The brother immediately reported the incident at the police station in Villepinte. Soon after the report was made, one of the kidnappers called the brother and said the victim had been released, but warned the deadline was still valid. The man was found severely injured in front of a MacDonald’s in the area of Villeparisis. It is currently unknown what were the kidnapper’s motivations to kidnap the man and what led them to release him. FULL ARTICLE

MIDDLE EAST

5. (YEMEN, 07/10/18) Growing number of Houthi detentions in Sanaa

On 6 October, Houthi militiamen reportedly closed down the University of Sanaa, deploying tanks and armored vehicles around the building to intimidate students. During the operation, 55 students were illegally detained. Cases of detention of students continue to be reported in Yemen, with Human rights groups affirming the number of students detained by the Houthi militias has rose to 80 in the last few days. According to reports, armed Houthi groups have been carrying out raids and arrests in various neighborhoods of Sanaa, based on target lists. The lists are said to mainly include political and human rights activists, bloggers, and media personalities who speak against the militias. Hostages are allegedly often tortured and severely beaten. FULL ARTICLE (1)

ASIA

6. (GEORGIA, 08/10/18) Industrialist kidnapped in Abkhazia rescued by Russian authorities

Maxim Yakovlev, the head of Poligrafoformlenie and shareholder of Kirov plant, who was kidnapped in Abkhazia in June, returned to his home in St. Petersburg on 7 October, following a rescue operation carried out by the Crime Unit of the St. Petersburg police. Yakovlev went missing from a hotel in the town of New Athos, Abkhazia, after three masked men armed with machine guns broke into his room on 20 June 2018. The businessman’s wife later received a note demanding a ransom of 200 million rubles (approximately USD 3 million). According to Russian police sources, Yakovlev was released on 6 October, following negotiations between the abductors and the St. Petersburg Crime Unit. It is reported that the Russian security forces carried out the operation without the knowledge of the Georgian authorities because the Russian police distrusted them. Allegedly, the Chechen diaspora had offered help with the Yakovlev operation, but Yakovlev’s wife opposed the deal as it involved giving up her husband’s position at Poligrafoformlenie. FULL ARTICLE

7. (INDIA, 08/10/18) Pune police rescue trader 12 hours after his kidnapping

The Crime Branch of the Pune Police rescued a kidnapped businessman and arrested his captors within 12 hours from the report of the incident. Darshan Mahendra Nifjiya was abducted on the night of 5 October by five men who later called his father to demand a ransom for his release. The men initially demanded Rs 20 crore (approximately USD 2.7 million), but later reduced the amount to Rs 15 lakh (USD20,200). The father immediately filed a police complaint. The police managed to track the mobile phone used to make the ransom calls and zeroed-in on a location. At 12.30 am the next day, four vans with armed police personnel surrounded the vehicle that was carrying the victim, on its way to the location agreed with the family for the payment of the ransom. Four suspects were arrested while one escaped. FULL ARTICLE