Kidnap & Ransom update September 4, 2018
4-Sep-18

AMERICAS

1. (COLOMBIA, 02/09/18) Kidnapping in Colombia down 20% so far in 2018

According to General Jorge Nieto, director of the Colombian Police, between January and August 2018, kidnapping decreased in the country by 20% in comparison to the same period in 2017. Reportedly, the number of extortion cases also experienced a decrease of 21%. During his statement, Nieto praised the nationwide Operation Ares, aiming at curving kidnapping in the country. The security operation consisted of raids over 47 localities in the country, which reportedly resulted in important blows to major organised criminal gangs such as Clan del Golfo and Los Pelusos, as well as local criminal groups such as Los Juanes (Antioquia), Los Peludos (Risaralda), Los Controladores (Bogotá) and Los Martillo (Santander). Nieto’s statements followed reports of three high-profile kidnapping cases in less than 24 hours. FULL ARTICLE (1)

2. (ARGENTINA, 04/09/18) Businessman released after large ransom payment

A prominent businessman of the Roma community of the city of Rosario was kidnapped by a group of at least five people armed with high-caliber weapons. The incident reportedly took place on 3 September, at the victim’s business, a car leadership, where the assailants arrived in two cars. Collian Miguel was released after four hours, following a ransom payment of USD 1 million, according to the victim’s family. The Rosario authorities, while acknowledging the initial demand was USD 1 million, affirmed the final payment was much lower. FULL ARTICLE (1)

EUROPE

3. (SPAIN, 02/09/18) Police rescue man kidnapped and beaten in Spain

Spanish police rescued a young man who was kidnapped and severely beaten during an eight-hour ordeal. The 26-year-old was allegedly abducted in Ronda, Andalucía region. After being taken to a pawn shop in Malaga to recover some jewels that he had allegedly pawned, the victim was driven to an isolated farmhouse in Cartama, where he endured beatings that left him with severe injuries. The victim’s mother reported the incident to the police after she received a call from the kidnappers, demanding a €1,500 ransom for the release of her son. Police succeeded in the rescue of the victim, arresting all those thought to be responsible and seizing several weapons. According to reports, the seven alleged perpetrators belong to a family clan of Spanish nationality. It is thought the victim may have been targeted over the alleged theft of some jewels. FULL ARTICLE (1)

MIDDLE EAST

4. (LEBANON, 03/09/18) Syrian man abducted in broad daylight in Beirut

A Syrian driver was kidnapped in broad daylight in the area of Cola, Beirut. His kidnapper was arrested on the same day after releasing the victim. During police interrogation, the suspect admitted to the abduction, saying it was motivated on a “material” dispute. The circumstances of the victim’s release are not clear. FULL ARTICLE (1)

AFRICA

5. (LIBYA, 02/09/18) Kidnapped General found alive in Misrata

The commander of the Libyan Central Military Region for the internationally-recognized Presidential Council, was found alive on 2 September after a kidnapping ordeal. General Mohamed Haddad had been kidnapped the day before, after attending a meeting at his military headquarters in Misrata. No more details have emerged on the event or the conditions of his release. FULL ARTICLE

6. (DRC, 03/09/18) Journalist released after ransom payment in North Kivu

A press freedom organization today announced the release of a journalist kidnapped for ransom in North Kivu province. After six days in captivity, Emmanuel Tusenge was released on 31 August. The release allegedly took place after his family paid a ransom to the kidnappers. It is reported that Tusenge has been admitted in a hospital in Rutshuru following violent torture experienced during captivity. No information was disclosed on the amount originally demanded and the payment. FULL ARTICLE (1) (2)

ASIA

7. (KAZAKHSTAN, 04/09/18) Kazakh businesswoman extradited suspected of kidnapping for ransom of Turkish man

Businesswoman Irada Rustamova was extradited from Azerbaijan and kept in custody in Astana, suspected in the kidnapping for ransom of a Turkish national in November 2017. According to the prosecution, Rustamova and her husband decided to kidnap Turkish businessman Dolgun Tepebash, as he allegedly owed them USD 300,000. After hiring three men to help them, the couple held a meeting with the victim at a café in the Kazakh capital, and then lured him to a rented apartment where the accomplices were waiting. The criminals demanded a ransom of USD 1 from Tepebash’s brother in Turkey. Reportedly, Tepebash was let go after the victim and his family managed to convince the captors they did not have the sufficient funds. All the suspects have been arrested since then, except for Rustamova’s husband. FULL ARTICLE

8. (PHILIPPINES, 03/09/18) Sabah extends sea curfew over Abu Sayyaf threat

Sabah authorities have decided to extend the sea curfew over the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) covering the areas of Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran. The curfew, which was first imposed four years ago, has been extended until 13 September, based on continuous threats from cross-border criminals, including kidnap-for-ransom groups and the Abu Sayyaf. Just last month, a group of at least 10 gunmen attempted to abduct the crew of a tugboat near Lahad Datu’s Tambisan area in Sabah. The crew locked themselves in a room and quickly radioed for help. Thanks to the swift action of the Esscom, the gunmen, believed to be form southern Philippines, were forced to escape. FULL ARTICLE