ASIA

Afghanistan

25 July Dadullah Qaneh, a member of the Farah Provincial Council, said that unidentified armed men had kidnapped six civilians on a highway linking Farah Province to Herat Province. The incident took place during the morning. Kidnapping for ransom by bandits, local militias and Taliban militants happens frequently in the country.

Bangladesh

24 July Mohaiminul Islam was rescued by detectives from hotel on Topkhana Road, Dacca. He had been kidnapped two days earlier from Adabor and held captive in a hotel room while his kidnappers demanded a ransom of Tk10 lakh (USD12,850) from his father. The police arrested seven suspects including two agents of the mobile banking service, bKash. During preliminary questioning, the suspects confessed to kidnapping people for ransom over a long time. The two bKash agents took care of the transfer of the ransoms.

India

5 July The police arrested Balamahendren aka Bala (26), a MBA student and the son of e retired police Deputy Superintendent, as he collected the ransom being paid by the mother of Arvindhraj (11) who he had kidnapped on 3 July from near Avadi Hindu College Railway Station, Chennai. The victim’s mother said she had received a call at around 4:00pm on the day of the kidnapping as she was waiting for her son to return from school, demanding a ransom of Rs.50 lakh (USD80,250). She informed her husband Balaji, a manager of a construction company, who in turn informed the police. Under instructions from the police, she negotiated with the kidnapper telling him she could get Rs 2 lakh (USD3,200) which he accepted. He then instructed her to get in the last carriage of a train travelling through Hindu College Railway Station. He told her to leave the train at the station and to drop the ransom from a bridge at the end of the platform. She saw him waiting below. As she dropped the bag with the money, the police moved in. The victim was found in a nearby car gagged and with his hands and legs tied.

6 July Radhika (23) was kidnapped from Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, after being befriended through chatting on WhatsApp and agreeing to accompany her new “friends” to a temple. Four days later the kidnappers contacted her husband, Mahesh Kumar, by WhatsApp and demanded Rs3 lakh (USD4,800) be deposited in a nominated bank account for her release. They threatened to sell his wife to the red light district in Mumbai if they did not get the money. They also sent him a photograph showing a woman in a burka with hands tied, mouth bound and a blood stained cloth on the floor alongside. Her husband suspected that a family member was responsible and the police tracked the suspect down but not before the husband had panicked and paid the ransom money. The police discovered that the money had been withdrawn through an ATM but would not say where.

16 July During a meeting of top ranking police officers of the Uttar Pradesh Police’s Meerut zone, the commissioner reported that the district of Ghaziabad topped the crime table in cases of kidnapping and abduction over the previous three months. According to recent crime statistics, 135 cases of kidnapping were reported between 1 April and 30 June 2015, whereas over the same period in 2014 there were 121 reported cases and in 2013 only 85 reported cases.

Pakistan

23 July The police counter terrorism department (CTD) raided a house in Mohalla Gafran Habib, Peshawar, Sawt, and found the body of Haris (7) the son of a wholesale dealer. The victim had disappeared on 17 July and his father received a call the same day from an Afghan number demanding Rs.5 million (USD80,250) for his son’s release. The police identified one Hasib, a notorious kidnapping gang leader, and arrested him. He led them to the house where the boy’s body was found. In a separate incident, the CTD arrested an alleged kidnapper, Zafar, and recovered Tafal Azain Alam (3) who had been kidnapped from outside his grandfather’s house in Kanju, Swat. The kidnapper had contacted the family and demanded Rs.1.2 million (USD19,250) for the child’s release

26 July Syed Zafar Noori, the spiritual leader of the Zakri community, was kidnapped by armed men from his residence in Pasni, Balochistan, during the evening. No group has claimed responsibility or contacted the family with a ransom demand. Pakistani security forces had been conducting operations over the previous three days and had arrested more than 20 local residents.

FAR EAST

Indonesia

27 July The Jakarta City Police Commissioner told a press conference that a Malaysian citizen, Sahlan Bandan, who is involved in the dried fish trade and money changing, was kidnapped by members of the military and civilians on 15 July and kept in captivity in a house in Depok for seven days until he was able to arrange a ransom payment. During that time the victim was not allowed to change clothes and was only given rice to eat. The kidnappers threatened to give him a lethal injection if he did not pay. The kidnappers demanded Rp300 million (USD22,000). The victim contacted his family in Malaysia who were only able to raise Rp100 million (USD7,300). The family sent the money to bank accounts of several of the suspects using bank transfers. He was released after the kidnappers received the money. The police followed up after his release and have arrested two members of the military and four civilians. The police believe that 10 people were involved in the kidnapping gang and the mastermind was a business associate of the victim

Malaysia

20 July The Sabah Police Commissioner announced that the 22nd phase of the curfew running from 7:00pm to 5:00am in the waters off the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) that was due to end, would be extended into the 23rd phase running until 5 August. He added that the decision to extend the curfew was based on new information about potential threats of kidnapping for ransom and Abu Sayyaf.

Philippines

12 July Captain Rowena Muyuela, a spokeswoman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Mindanao Command, said in a text message that Russel Bagonoc (22), a teacher at the Tuburan Elementary School, Zamboanga Sibugay, had been released by his kidnappers. The victim, along with his sister, Reynadeth Bagonoc-Silvano, also a teacher, was kidnapped by gunmen while travelling to the school on 15 March 2015. Reportedly, the siblings were taken by their kidnappers to Sulu and handed over to the al Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf group. Redynadeth had been released on 14 May as a result of intensified law enforcement operations in the Indaman, Parang and Sulu areas. The spokeswoman said in her text that it was not known if a ransom had been paid but the victim’s release may have been the result of pressure from ongoing military operations. Kidnap for ransom gangs operate in the Zamboanga Peninsula and the provinces of Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi. They are known to hand over their hostages to the Abu Sayyaf group and negotiate for a ransom payment that, if paid, they split with the group.

20 July A Philippines military commander said that Ledejie Tomarong (18), a store cashier, had escaped from her Abu Sayyaf militant captors during the confusion caused when government troops discovered the Abu Sayyaf hideout. She had been kidnapped along with two young children by at least six gunmen who used them as a human shield after attempting unsuccessfully to kidnap her employer, a wealthy bakery owner, in Zamboanga del Sur province in March 2015. The kidnappers killed one of the children, who kept crying, apparently to avoid being detected by the authorities.

30 July Agents from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) rescued a 59 year old businessman from in front of a drugstore in Pangasinan province. The victim had been kidnapped in broad daylight in the parking lot of a supermarket in Lipa City, Batangas province, on 24 July. The kidnappers contacted the victim’s family and demanded a ransom of P30 million (USD670,400). NBI Director Virgilio Mendez said the abduction was well planned and negotiations through cell phones were conducted in various cities and provinces to avoid tracing and to confuse the agents engaged in surveillance. The NBI team were given information by a government official who had been approached by a priest known to the family. The NBI team finally tracked down the kidnappers as the victim, a diabetic, was buying medicine at the drugstore in Mangatarem, Pangasinan. Two men were arrested and the NBI are hunting down other members of the gang.

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