EUROPE

Germany

13 August Anneli-Marie R. (17), the daughter of a businessman, was kidnapped in Meissen, Eastern Germany, after she left her parents’ house at around 7:30pm wheeling her bicycle and walking her pet dog. At 7:57pm one of the kidnappers called her father using the victim’s mobile telephone, with a ransom demand for 1.2 million euros (USD1.32 million). In the background, her father could hear her screams. The police said the victim had not been selected randomly and at least one of her kidnappers knew her by sight and had studied her Facebook page. On 14 August, the kidnappers called again and told her father to transfer the ransom to an online bank account. On 17 August, the police found the victim’s naked body buried in a shallow grave in an abandoned farmyard in the village of Klipphausen, not far from her home. Two men, a jobless cook aged 39 years and a metalworker aged 61 years were arrested and charged with the victim’s murder. It later transpired that the victim had been strangled with her own belt after she saw the faces of her kidnappers who had failed to wear masks during the kidnapping.

Spain

31 August An unnamed 27 year old man was rescued by police after being kidnapped and held for six days in a house in Benahavis. His family reported him missing to the police after they discovered his house had been trashed. The kidnappers contacted the victim’s father and demanded a ransom of 35,000 euros (USD38,500) against the threat to kill his son. The victim’s father agreed to a meeting in Puerto Banus to hand over the ransom. The police spotted two of the kidnappers at a petrol station in San Pedro and followed them back to the villa where the victim was being held tied up. During follow up operations, the police arrested ten French nationals of Pakistani and Algerian origin aged between 18 and 28 years who have been charged with kidnapping, drug trafficking and membership of an organised crime gang.

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