SECURITY UPDATE – APRIL 2014


EUROPE


Spain


5 April A spokesman for the National Police stated that when a Spanish citizen’s life is threatened, the Police act. He continued to give an account of how the Police work through dedicated agents to obtain the freedom of citizens who have been kidnapped in foreign countries. The specialist unit, la Seccion de Secuestros y Extorsiones, was created in 2000 and has since worked on the cases of almost 50 citizens kidnapped in foreign countries.

Ukraine


24 April The US State Department said it was “deeply concerned” about the kidnapping of US citizen, Simon Otrovsky, a journalist for Vice News, in Slaviansk, eastern Ukraine. Pro-Russian separatists confirmed they were holding the victim. Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, the separatist head of Slaviansk, told reporters that Ostrovsky had been detained for “reporting false information”.

25 April Pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country kidnapped eight international observers, from Germany, Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Bulgaria, members of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) who they accused of spying. The kidnappers offered to release their hostages in exchange for prisoners being held by the Kiev government. On 27 April a Swedish member was released on medical grounds. On 30 April, German Chancellor Angela Merkel contacted Russian president Vladimir Putin to ask for help in securing the release of the OSCE hostages. Putin made no promises but agreed to speak to the Chancellor again in a “short time”.

THE CARIBBEAN


Trinidad


24 April Two Venezuelan men aged 29 and 31 years, escaped from their kidnappers after being kidnapped on 5 March and held in North Trinidad. They were at the home of a man they had met when a group of masked men armed with guns and cutlasses burst into the house in the early hours of the morning. They were held in a locked room with at least one guard in an adjoining room. The kidnappers demanded quantities of cash, firearms and ammunition from the men who were badly beaten when they said they could not provide the items demanded. The two victims fled when the kidnappers left them in the house without a guard, and went to the police.

Information courtesy of Griffin Underwriting

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