Kidnap & Ransom update September 2, 2018
3-Sep-18

AMERICAS

1. (COLOMBIA, 30/08/18) Man kidnapped by the ELN released after two months

Elías Carrillo, a merchant from the Arauca region, was released after spending two months in the hands of the National Liberation Army (ELN). Carrillo said his kidnapping had had economic purposes and that his family had to pay the guerrillas for his release. The merchant was kidnapped on 20 June in Cravo Norte, along with his sentimental partner, who is still unaccounted for. Meanwhile, the Colombian government has demanded the ELN to free all its 19 hostages before resuming the peace talks. The ELN engaged in peace negotiations with the previous government for 17 months in Ecuador and Cuba before they were halted. The current president, who took office on 7 August, has made a number the demands before recommencing the negotiations. FULL ARTICLE (1)

2. (MEXICO, 31/08/18) Body of kidnapping victim identified

A body found on 21 August has been identified by relatives as Miranda Mendoza, a kidnapped university student. Mendoza was abducted on 20 August outside her University in the Iztapalapa area of Mexico City. On the same day, her parents were called by the kidnappers, who demanded a ransom of MXN 5 million (about USD 265,000). Mendoza’s father informed the abductors the demand was beyond the family’s capabilities, after which communication stopped. The victim’s charred remains were found by the authorities next day in Mexico State, about 31 kilometres from the location of the kidnapping. FULL ARTICLE

3. (MEXICO, 31/08/18) 39 Cuban migrants rescued from kidnappers in Cancun

Mexican authorities rescued 39 Cuban migrants who had been held hostage in the resort city of Cancun. The rescue took place on 30 August after the police received an anonymous tip informing of a group of people being held hostage at a property in the city. Four Cuban nationals and a Mexican were arrested at the location, identified by the victims as the people who held them for ransom. No information was provided on the amounts demanded by the criminals. FULL ARTICLE (1)

4. (COLOMBIA, 01/09/18) Kidnapped Barranquilla businessman and his wife released

A businessman and his wife have been released after their kidnapping in Barranquilla city. The kidnapping took place on the morning on 31 August after they encounter a fake police check point on their way to their business. Adolfo Acosta reported that although he thought it was an uncommon occurrence, they complied with whom they thought were the authorities. He reported the roadblock was manned by at least six men, two of whom were wearing a full police attire, possessing also police motorbikes. The two men handcuffed him and his wife, and along with two other, took the couple to a safe house within the city. Acosta’s wife was released late on the same day, while he was released the next day. Both by taxi, using money provided by the kidnappers. Although Acosta recognized there have been a ransom demand in the millions of Colombian pesos, he declined to declare whether a payment took place. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2)

AFRICA

5. (NIGERIA, 31/08/18) Gunmen abduct expatriate and kill three locals in Rivers State

At least three locals were killed and one expatriate kidnapped by unknown gunmen near the community of Woji, in the Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, on 30 August. The fatal victims of the attack were two police personnel and a civilian driver, part of the expatriate’s convoy. A witness said the incident took place at night, when the kidnappers ambushed the convoy at the Acom road and shot dead the three. Local authorities have given conflicting statements on the incident, some confirming the attack as reported and others denying an expatriate was kidnapped. The kidnap victim has not been identified yet. FULL ARTICLE (1)

6. (LIBYA, 01/09/18) Military commander kidnapped in Misrata

The Presidential Council’s commander of the Libyan central military zone Mohammed Al-Haddad was abducted after leaving a military meeting in Misrata. According to local sources, the incident took place after an argument between those attendants in pro and those against sending troops to Tripoli. The meeting was organized after the Chairman of the Presidential Council ordered to oversee the ceasefire following heavy clashes in the capital. Al-Haddad’s car and his cellphones were found abandoned near his farm in the Kerzaz area in Misrata. No group has claimed the kidnapping yet. FULL ARTICLE

7. (IVORY COAST, 01/09/18) Kidnapped boy recovered in Abidjan

A kidnapped eight-year-old boy was rescued by the Ivorian police and his kidnapper arrested on 31 August. The boy had been kidnapped from the Abidjan commune of Yopougon the previous day. His father reported the incident to the police on the same day, after receiving a call from the kidnapper demanding a ransom payment of CAF 3.5 million (over USD 6,000) for the boy’s release. According to police reports, the arrested man was identified by the police as a criminal specialised in the kidnap for ransom of kids in the capital city. According to local media, this type of crime has seen an increase in recent times, particularly in Abidjan. FULL ARTICLE

ASIA

8. (PHILIPPINES, 01/09/18) Five dead during kidnapping attack in Zamboanga del Norte

Five people were killed in Sirawai town, Zamboanga del Norte, on the night of 31 August, during the kidnapping of a former militiaman and his wife. According to initial reports, unidentified armed men held hostage former Civilian Armed Forces member Rufo Roda and his wife in the couple’s residence in Barangay Piacan in Sirawai. Five neighbours who tried to help them were killed during the encounter. The armed men reportedly escaped with the couple, using two motorized boats. No group has claimed the incident. FULL ARTICLE