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Kidnap & Ransom update September 19, 2018


1. (ARGENTINA, 17/09/18) Father and son released after ransom payment in Buenos Aires

On 12 September, a father and son were kidnapped whilst driving in Ituzaingó, a western district of Buenos Aires. The incident was caught on video, whereby four assailants in another vehicle forced a hard stop of the victim’s car, before two of the kidnappers commandeered it and drove away, with the victims being split between the two cars. The father was subsequently forced to call relatives and demand a ransom of USD 9,500 for their release. The payment was made on 17 September in Moreno, and the victims were released. Using the video footage of the abduction and information provided by the victims, police were able to locate the perpetrators and apprehended them in Paso del Rey. FULL ARTICLE (1)

2. (BRAZIL, 16/09/18) Brazilian officials forcibly detained by indigenous group

On 16 September, over five senior Brazilian officials were kidnapped by members of the Yanomami Indians in Surucucu, in the municipality of Alto Alegre. While information is scarce, it has been reported that none of the officials have so far been harmed. The Yanomami conducted the kidnapping in an attempt to pressure the authorities into providing better healthcare for their communities. This comes after two children died over the previous ten days due to malnutrition. FULL ARTICLE (1)


3. (KENYA, 16/09/18) Daughter of magistrate kidnapped and murdered

On 6 September, the nine-year-old daughter of Meru magistrate Carol Kemei was kidnapped near a petrol station along the Meru-Makutano road. The kidnappers subsequently demanded a ransom of Sh 500,000 (approximately USD 5,000) for the release of the girl, but never contacted the family again to follow up. On 16 September, the dead body of the victim was discovered by passersby in Imenti forest, 3km away from Meru town. According to reports, the body displayed signs of torture and mutilation. Local officials announced that investigations to apprehend the killers remain ongoing. FULL ARTICLE

4. (NIGER, 17/09/18) Italian priest kidnapped near border with Burkina Faso

On the evening of 17 September, an Italian priest was kidnapped in south Niger, near the border with Burkina Faso. This is the second kidnapping of a European in the country this year. While no claim for the kidnapping has yet been reported, active Islamist insurgent groups are known to operate in the region, and have previously threatened and conducted the kidnapping of expatriates. The abduction occurred in the village of Bomanga, in the southern Makalondi district, approximately 125km from the capital Niamey. The victim, Father Pier Luigi Maccalli, had been working in Bomanga for 11 years as a missionary. The authorities are currently investigating the incident. FULL ARTICLE

5. (NIGERIA, 18/09/18) Three lecturers regain freedom in Kaduna

On 17 September, three lecturers of the Shehu Idris College of Health Sciences and Technology, in Makarfi to the north of Kaduna state, were abducted by unknown gunmen while returning from an assignment in Zaria. They were apprehended along the Zario-Kano express road. A ransom of 7 million naira (approximately USD 19,300) was initially demanded by the kidnappers, who released the victims on the following evening. At present, it remains unclear if any ransom payment was made to secure the release of the abductees. This is the second kidnapping to have taken place near Zaria in the past two weeks. FULL ARTICLE

6. (NIGERIA, 17/09/18) Aid worker killed by Boko Haram after extended period of captivity

On 17 September, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced that a 25-year-old female aid worker had been killed in Nigeria’s northeastern region. The victim, Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, had been kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram militants in March 2018 during an attack on a military facility, which also resulted in the death of at least three Nigerian aid workers, while another three were wounded. Khorsa had been working in Rann with IDPs, just outside Maiduguri, when she was abducted along with another two colleagues. The ICRC has yet to disclose further details around Khorsa’s death, though confirmed the two other health workers remain in captivity. Boko Haram had last month released photos and audio recordings of the three abducted aid workers. FULL ARTICLE (1)

7. (SOUTH AFRICA, 17/09/18) Businessman freed in Cape Town after over two months in captivity

On 17 September, businessman Liyaqat Parker was released in Kuils River, in the northern suburbs of Cape Town. Rather than police facilitating the release, it was private investigators that coordinated the exchange of a large undisclosed ransom payment to the kidnappers to secure Parker’s freedom. Conflicting reports however emerged, with the victim’s family’s public relations consultant subsequently announcing that no ransom payment was made. Although details of Parker’s release are yet to be independently verified, investigations to apprehend the perpetrators are ongoing. Parker was kidnapped on 9 July by five armed men in the parking basement of his company in Parow. FULL ARTICLE (1)


8. (PAKISTAN, 17/09/18) Kidnappers kill victim in Sargodha despite ransom payment being made

On 17 September, it was reported that five kidnappers were arrested in Model Town, Sargodha, after an exchange of fire with police. The five suspects were allegedly involved in the kidnapping of a first year university student in the area. The kidnappers had previously demanded a ransom of Rs 3 million (approximately USD 24,346) from the victim’s family to secure his release. The boy’s father initially paid the criminals Rs 1 million (USD 8,115), who were arrested whilst attempting to collect the remaining Rs 2 million (USD 16,230). After questioning by police, the perpetrators revealed they had killed the victim and dumped his body, which was later recovered by the authorities. FULL ARTICLE


9. (THAILAND, 17/09/18) Kidnappers arrested for abduction of Chinese businessman in Bangkok

On 17 September, a Chinese man and a Thai man were arrested for the kidnap of a Chinese businessman in Bangkok. Another man from Thailand is currently being sought by the authorities in connection with the abduction. The perpetrators had deliberately caused a car accident with the victim’s vehicle outside of a restaurant in the Meng Jai area of northern Bangkok. As the victim exited his vehicle to assess the damage, he was kidnapped at knife-point and driven to Pattaya. Here, the kidnappers forced him to transfer 700,000 baht (approximately USD 21,600) to them and demanded that he raise a further 200,000 baht (approximately USD 6,166) from friends and family to secure his release. It has not yet been disclosed if the additional payment was made. After a police investigation into the incident, they tracked down the perpetrators to Pattaya, whereupon the victim was released and two of the three assailants was arrested. FULL ARTICLE