ASIA

Afghanistan

8 June Taliban fighters kidnapped twelve de-miners in two separate incidents on Saturday and Sunday in eastern Logar province. No group claimed responsibility for the incidents but the Taliban are active in the area.

8 June Islamic State (IS) jihadists brutally beheaded 10 Taliban members in the eastern province of Nangarhar who they captured as they fled from a gun battle with government troops. The rival terror groups had declared war on one another in April after the Afghan Taliban branded IS’s declared caliphate illegitimate and refused to declare allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

22 June According to the Afghan television channel, TOLO, the Afghan Ministry of Home Affairs had reported that an unnamed Dutch woman, who is said to be a rescue worker with the Swedish Committee of Afghanistan although the charity has not confirmed this, was kidnapped in Kabul. A spokesperson for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that they were aware of the reports but refused to say anything further stating: “In the interests of those involved, we do not comment on kidnappings”.

India

12 June Deepak Kumar, a Quick Mobile constable serving with the Patna police, was arrested along with three accomplices in connection with the kidnapping of Sunil Kumar Upadhyay, owner of a travel agency, on 6 June. The victim received a call from the policeman arranging to meet him at Sipara bridge to discuss the details of train tickets. On arrival, he met Deepak and his three accomplices who told him that he needed to interview him about some transaction. He was taken to a house where he was held. The kidnappers called the victim’s family and demanded Rs.5.70 lakh (USD9,150) for his release. The police intercepted negotiating calls between the kidnappers and family and rescued the victim.

Pakistan

18 June Usama Mahmoud, spokesman of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, posted images on Twitter that appear to show Warren Weinstein, an American aid worker who was kidnapped in Lahore four years ago, in the months before he was killed in a United States drone strike while being held in north-western Pakistan. The first two photographs show Mr. Weinstein folding his arms across his chest and bending forward with his hands on his knees, the first two steps of Muslim prayer. Another image is a close up of Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian aid worker who was held with Mr. Weinstein. The final image purports to show Mr. Weinstein’s body with his ashen face framed by a white shroud. Posts on the al Qaeda official’s Twitter account said that Sr. Lo Porto adopted the name Mohammed and Mr. Weinstein, Ishaq, when they converted to Islam.

FAR EAST

Malaysia

21 June The Vietnamese authorities reported that the eight Indonesian pirates who had hijacked the small Malaysian flagged oil tanker, MT Orkin Harmony, had confessed to the act of piracy. The vessel disappeared from Malaysian waters on 12 June while carrying 6,000 tons of 95 octane gasoline and with a crew of 22 sailors – 16 Malaysians, 5 Indonesians and one Burmese. The vessel was travelling from Malacca on the west coast of Malaysia to Kuantan on the east coast when seized. The Malaysian Navy chased the vessel through Thai and Cambodian waters until it was detained off Vietnam.

30 June Three men were charged with kidnapping a 25 year old female doctor from the Hospital Pakar Sultanah Kumar, Muar, at around 10:00pm on 6 May. They are charged with wrongly detaining and carrying away the victim with the intention of obtaining a ransom of RM400,000 (USD109,600). If found guilty, the three alleged kidnappers could face the gallows or be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Philippines

14 June Attorney Alex Cabornay, head of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-Iligan, said that Alikhan Dimnatang, leader of the Dimnatang KFR (Kidnap for Ransom) Group, had been arrested after being hunted for over ten years. The Dimnatang KFR Group has been operating in Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City, Marawi City and the two Lanao provinces. Dimnatang was arrested on Sunday night in Bacayu, Iligan City, after a tip off that he had been seen in Bacayu over the weekend. Among the recent kidnapping cases attributed to the gang was that of Alirazul Manungirring (22) in Iligan City on 27 April 2015. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of P2 million (USD44,700) but the victim was released on 29 April after his family paid P500,000 (USD11,170).

17 June Agents from the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) and the Bulacan provincial police arrested three Nigerians allegedly involved in a kidnapping ring that targets fellow Nigerians in the country. The three suspects were responsible for the kidnapping of two Nigerians on the day they arrived in the Philippines to enrol in a college in San Fernando, La Union. Reports from the AKG showed that on 11 June the Embassy o the Philippines in the United Kingdom received a complaint from a lawyer based in London that his nephews had been kidnapped on arrival in the country. The kidnappers demanded a ransom N6 million (USD30,150) for the release of the two students. After seven days, the victims managed to escape from their kidnappers.

24 June The al Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf group posted a 3 ½ minute video online that showed three kidnapped hostages, Aliguay Island Barangay village chief Rudy Boligao, and coastguards Rodlyn Pagaling and Gringo Villaruz, blindfolded, kneeling and begging for their ransoms to be paid. Seven masked gunmen, one armed with a machete, stand alongside threatening to execute the three men. The three hostages were kidnapped on 4 May at a beach resort in Aliguay Island, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte, by as many as fifteen gunmen wearing police and military uniforms. Gringo Villaruz states that he and his two companions will be beheaded if the kidnappers do not receive their ransom demand. One of the militants says: “We call that our demand be given as soon as possible. If you cannot provide what we are asking we will behead one of the captives or all of them”. Earlier reports said that the kidnappers were demanding P100 million (USD22.4 million) ransom in exchange for the safe release of the three men.

Thailand

17 June The family of Ajay Kumar (22), from Jalandhar, India, who had flown to Thailand on 13 June, received a call from a man in Thailand speaking in Punjabi and demanding a ransom of Rs. 10 lakh (USD16,000). The caller threatened the victim’s life before allowing the victim to speak to his family. Punjabi State police headquarters are taking up the matter with the Thai authorities.

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