10 September According to the Dutch Foreign Ministry, Anja de Beer, a Dutch aid worker, had been freed by her kidnappers and was recovering in the Dutch embassy in Kabul. She is an experienced aid worker who has worked for the UN for 15 years. She had been in Kabul working for the Swiss development organisation, Helvetas, for several years when she was snatched from a Kabul street during the day by four gunmen on 22 June 2015. No further information was provided concerning the circumstances of her release.
12 September Vijay Patria (7), son of Ashish Kumar, was kidnapped by unknown men in Nagar, Hyderabad, during the evening while he was playing near his residence. The kidnappers forced the victim to drink Pediclryl syrup to make him sleep. As soon as he fell asleep, they put him in a travel bag before driving away. His parents saw the car and reported the incident to the police. The kidnappers contacted the victim’s father and demanded a ransom of Rs.1 crore (USD160,500) and threatened to kill his son if he reported the matter to the police. The kidnappers then switched off their mobiles. After the parents had reported the incident, TV channels began to telecast news flashes. At about 10:45pm, local people discovered the boy crying by the roadside. It is suspected that the kidnappers panicked when the news flashes were broadcast and abandoned their victim. On 16 September, the police arrested four men in connection with the kidnapping and found the travel bag, syrup and four mobile telephones.
22 September According to a new report prepared by security agencies, there have been 182 cases of kidnapping to date in 2015 in the North East region of the country including Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur. The report suggests that 24 people were kidnapped in Assam up until 15 September and 45 in Meghalaya. There were only three reported cases in Tripura making it the most peaceful of the states named. Of the 24 cases in Assam, four are attributed to the Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger, a breakaway faction of the Karbi Longri National Liberation Front. The twenty other kidnapping victims are believed to have been kidnapped by unknown groups for ransom. In Meghalaya, 17 people were kidnapped by the Garo National Liberation Army and a further three by the Achik Matgrik Elite Force. Unknown kidnapping networks are believed to be responsible for twenty cases in the state. The three cases in Tripura have been attributed to the National Liberation Front of Tripura. In Nagaland, sixteen people were kidnapped by NSCN-IM while 22 were kidnapped by the banned NSCN-Khaplang faction.
13 September Three Indian nationals, one from Rajasthan and two from Gujarat, who were being held captive in Jhapa district of far eastern Nepal, were rescued by Nepal Police. The men had been lured by online advertisements of lucrative jobs in a fake Australian mining company and had been held captive in a rented house for ten days. The kidnappers contacted the men’s families using software that made it appear that calls were coming from Australian telephone numbers. The demanded Rs.10 lakh (USD16,000) as processing fees for the jobs and two years visa for skilled workers in Australia. The families became suspicious and informed the police. Five men, two Indians and three Nepalis, were arrested.
5 September In a media briefing, a Ranger’s spokesman said that, as a result of targeted operations by the paramilitary Rangers and police in Karachi launched in September 2013, incidents of kidnapping for ransom and extortion in Karachi have reduced by 70%. He added that 550 target killers, 343 extortionists and 913 terrorists had been arrested since the start of the operation. About 259 law enforcement personnel have been killed over the same period.
Papua New Guinea
9 September The Free Papua Movement (OPM) kidnapped two Indonesian loggers in Papua’s Keerom district, part of Indonesia, and fled with them across the border into Papua New Guinea. OPM were demanding the release of two OPM members being detained at Papua Police Department in return for the release of the two Indonesians. The Indonesian Government said it would not include prisoner trade for the release of their two nationals. On 16 September, Jefry Pagawak, leader of OPM, denied responsibility for the kidnapping and said the armed forces were trying to tarnish his name. On 17 September, the two loggers were released to the security forces in Papua New Guinea. On 20 September, Major General Hinsa Siburian, Commander XVII Cenderawasih military region, said that the Papua New Guinea Defence Force had arrested seven people in connection with the hostage taking. He added that the seven had been arrested during the operation to free the two Indonesians and the problem had been resolved without any barter or payment being involved.
6 September Isabel Muyargas (68), wife of a former district supervisor of the Department of Education’s Zamboanga Sibugay Division of Schools, and her five year old grandson, Ismael Kyle Hamad, were kidnapped by five gunmen from her residence in Bangkerohan, Ipil town, Zamboanga Sibugay, at around 11:40am. The victims were dragged to the shore and forced to board a motorised banca that sped away. The police said the kidnappers are suspected to be members of a kidnapping for ransom gang. On 7 September, the two victims were released by their kidnappers about 70 kms from where they were kidnapped. The family had explained to the kidnappers that Isabel was sick and they did not have the money to pay a ransom.
14 September Two decades after Abu Sayyaf started carrying out kidnappings, bombings, occasional beheadings and general “mischief” in the Southern Philippines, Judge Danilo Bucoy in Isabela City Court granted a request by the Department of Justice to classify the group as a “terrorist group”. Abu Sayyaf is now recognised as a “terrorist group” under Republic Act 9370, the Human Security Act.
14 September Ten construction workers and a driver, all Moslems and employed by MACE Construction, were kidnapped at around 9:20am by 20 Abu Sayyaf gunmen led by Kik Alamsirul aka Abu Kik as they were travelling in a dump truck along the highway at Barangay Upper Binembengan, Sumisip, a remote town in Basilan province. The workers were building the Basilan circumferential road. On 16 September, security forces rescued nine workers when the militants abandoned their hostages as about 500 soldiers cornered the group. Two of the hostages had managed to escape previously and had alerted the military.
21 September According to the Armed Forces’ East Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), three foreigners and a Filipina were kidnapped by eleven unidentified armed men who overpowered the resort’s security guard, from the Holiday Ocean View Samal Resort on the north tip of Samal Island, Davao del Norte, at around 11:20pm. The victims were identified as John Ridsdel, the country manager, and Robert Hall, a geologist, both Canadians, and Kjartan Sekkingstad, a Norwegian said to be the Resort Manager. The Filipina was only named as “Tess” who is thought to be the partner of one of the Canadians. The local police said that the two Canadians work for a Calgary based multinational mining corporation, TVI Pacific Inc., in Zamboanga del Norte. The military said that about 30 foreigners were staying at the resort at the time of the kidnapping and a Japanese couple were injured. The kidnappers placed their victims in two motorised bancas and sped off towards the nearby Pantukan area in Compostela Valley. On 23 September, the head of EastMinCom said that the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and not the communist National People’s Army (NPA) were behind the kidnapping. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Dutarte told reporters on 28 September that intelligence reports indicated the kidnappers and their victims were en route to the Abu Sayyaf stronghold of Sulu.
On 25 September, Professor Rommel Banlaoi, Chairman of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research, said that as early as June information had circulated within the intelligence community that the Abu Sayyaf Group had been planning to kidnap foreigners and tourists in some of the resorts in Samal Island.
On 30 September, a senior member of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) claimed that the four hostages had been seen at the foot of Mount Bud Daho in the jungles of Sulu. He added that a former government official was trying to get Proof of Life (POL) but the kidnappers were demanding P2 million (USD44,700) for POL.
23 September The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) released a Travel Advisory: “There is a threat from kidnapping, particularly in the southern Philippines. Kidnapping could occur anywhere, including on coastal and island resorts and on dive boats and sites in the Sulu Sea. Foreigners have been targeted in rural, urban and coastal areas in the past. On 21 September a group of foreigners were reported kidnapped from a boat near a resort on Samal Island in Davao del Norte. The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British Government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage taking”. The Government of Canada also issued a similar Travel Advisory.