Kidnap & Ransom update September 25, 2018
25-Sep-18

AMERICAS

1. (HONDURAS, 23/09/18) Kidnap victim rescued without ransom payment in Olanchito

On 15 September, a 30-year-old rancher, Selvin Rivera, was kidnapped whilst driving to collect milk from his farm in Olanchito, Yoro department, by heavily armed men. The kidnappers subsequently contacted the victim’s family and demanded a ransom payment of L10 million (USD 415,835) for his release. Police announced that no ransom payment was made, and that the victim was rescued in a security operation on 23 September, which also resulted in the arrest of two kidnappers after an exchange of fire. The rescue operation was carried out in a mountainous area of Montevideo Village in Olanchito. Rivera was found alive, bound and blindfolded, in a small hut. FULL ARTICLE (1)

AFRICA

2. (BURKINA FASO, 23/09/18) Expatriates and driver kidnapped in Soum province

On 23 September, a South African executive and Indian technician were kidnapped along with their local driver while traveling from Inata to Ouagadougou through Burkina Faso’s Sahel region. The hostages were reportedly abducted between the Inata gold mine and Djibo, a town that is located in the Soum province. Their vehicle was later sighted moving toward the Malian border. Security forces attempted to search for the kidnappers but were ambushed in the Tonhomayel commune, resulting in three gendarmes being killed. At present, no reported ransom demands have been issued. There is a high insurgent threat in the region, and it is assessed likely the victims were abducted by Islamic militants. FULL ARTICLE (1)

3. (BURKINA FASO, 23/09/18) Son of municipal councilor kidnapped in Oudalan

On the evening of 23 September, unknown gunmen riding a motorcycle kidnapped the son of the municipal councilor of Kacham-Ouest, in the Department of Tin-Akoff, Oudalan province. This occurred in proximity of the abduction of a South African executive and Indian technician earlier the same day, and was likely conducted by extremist Islamic elements. The situation in northern Burkina Faso remains extremely volatile, with 50 attacks recorded so far in 2018. Ten foreign nationals are also still currently assessed to be held captive by militant groups in the Sahel region. FULL ARTICLE (1)

4. (NIGERIA, 23/09/18) Seven civilians kidnapped for large ransom in Zamfara

Zamfara police announced that armed bandits kidnapped seven civilians, including a former councilor, from a village in the Bungudu Local Government Area on 23 September. According to witness accounts, a large number of gunmen entered the village firing intimidatory shots into the air. They specifically searched for former councilor Bello Daniya’s residence, from where they abducted Daniya along with six children. One of the victims was later reportedly released with a note from the kidnappers demanding a N100 million (USD 274,846) ransom to ensure the release of the remaining victims. The authorities subsequently launched a security operation and are presently attempting to locate the criminal kidnapping gang. FULL ARTICLE

5. (NIGERIA, 23/09/18) Ransom paid to kidnappers following kidnapping in Ondo State

Following a mass kidnapping on 13 September, in which gunmen intercepted a bus transporting 13 passengers in Ore, Ondo State, some victims were released following the payment of ransom fees. An elderly woman, amongst the abductees, was released after six days in captivity when her family paid the kidnappers a ransom of N1 million (USD 2,748). Other victims have also reportedly been released following ransom payments. A family member of another of the victims claimed that the kidnappers had demanded a N20 million (USD 59,969) ransom for the release of his sister. The driver of the bus has allegedly been detained by police for his possible involvement in the incident. Investigations into the whereabouts of the remaining victims are ongoing. FULL ARTICLE (1)

ASIA

6. (PAKISTAN, 24/09/18) Increase in kidnappings for ransom by victims lured into meetings

Pakistani authorities have announced they are attempting to curb a growing trend of honey trap kidnappings, which have been most prevalent in the Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan. In such scams, the kidnappers initially impersonate females and get in contact with male targets through messaging services such as Whatsapp and Facebook. Upon building rapport with the victim, they then lure them into a meeting, at which point the victim is physically abducted and a ransom demanded from their friends or family, typically in the region of Rs 5 million (approximately USD 40,600). Since July 2016, at least 300 such incidents have been reported in the Ghotki district of Sindh alone. Recent police operations have resulted in a significant number of arrests, including the arrest of the leader of a kidnapping gang responsible for 18 abductions in the Punjab and six in Sindh. FULL ARTICLE