Entries in Kidnapping (21)


Mexican Teen Fakes Own Kidnapping, Gets Arrested

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(VERACRUZ, Mexico) -- Mexican police have arrested a teenager who faked her own kidnapping so that she could get money to go on vacations with her ex-boyfriend and four other friends.

Nineteen year-old Arely Soto actually wanted her parents to believe that criminals had kidnapped her so that they would pay her friends a $20,000 ransom for her "release."

To get away with this, Arely simply disappeared from her home in the state of Veracruz one day and had her friends call her family, posing as bloodthirsty criminals.

It's a believable story in Mexico, where kidnappings are still a common crime. But things went bust when Arely's parents suspected something was amiss and contacted local police.

Mexican newspaper Zocalo reports that Arely's parents agreed to make the ransom. Police then arrested the teens as they drove to the town where they were going to collect the money.

The teens promptly ratted out Arely, who was found by police in the neighboring state of Hidalgo before her friends were arrested.

Arely told cops that she had been threatened with a knife and was beaten, but once her friends confessed to their role, she allegedly acknowledged that it was all a scam.

Arely and her friends will probably spend some time in jail. They have also reminded us, once again, that real life crimes are sometimes more absurd than those that happen in Hollywood films.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Colorado Man Wanted in Son's Kidnapping Arrested in Canada, Boy Safe

Longmont Police Department(MANITOBA, Canada) -- Luke Turner, a missing 3-year-old Colorado boy, was found safe in Manitoba, Canada, Sunday, as police arrested his father in connection with the alleged abduction.

Monty Turner, 51, was arrested Sunday afternoon at the Casablance Motor Lodge in Brandon, Manitoba, without incident, according to Cmdr. Jeffrey Satur of the Longmont, Colo., Police Department.

Luke was placed in the care of Family Services in Brandon, as authorities work on plans to reunite him with his mother in Colorado, Satur said, and coordinate Turner's extradition.

The alleged abduction happened Saturday morning when Monty Turner, who police said had an order of protection against him barring him from contacting his estranged wife and son, broke into their home.
According to the Longmont Police Department, Turner shocked his estranged wife with a stun gun and pepper sprayed her before he kidnapped their son.

Turner was seen riding away with Luke in on a bicycle with a childrens' seat, police said, and had likely parked a vehicle nearby to make his getaway.

An Amber Alert that had been issued for Luke was cancelled Sunday afternoon.

Early Sunday morning, Monty Turner's father was arrested after he was pulled over in Missouri while driving a car being sought in connection with his grandson's disappearance, Longmont police told ABC News' Denver affiliate. Ronald Turner was arrested as an accessory, police said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama’s Half-Brother Accused of Abducting Son

Win McNamee/Getty Images(NAIROBI, Kenya) -- President Obama’s half brother, who has gained a reputation in Kenya as the family’s ne’er-do-well, is making headlines again.  George Obama, 30, is being sued by his girlfriend who claims he ran off with their 3-year-old son last month and refuses to return him.

According to a Daily Nation reporter, who was inside the Nairobi courtroom, the girlfriend alleges George Obama arrived at her house in the Haruma slum on the boy’s birthday, insisting he must take him to buy a present.  The girlfriend claims George Obama refused to the let the boy’s grandmother and aunt go along, forcing them out of his taxi before driving off.

The girlfriend’s attorney, John Chigiti, told the court that George Obama informed him he wants to the take the child to America.  The judge later barred George Obama from taking the child out of the country and ordered him to bring the child to a court hearing at the end of the month.

George Obama made headlines this summer for his appearance in the conservative film 2016: Obama’s America, which brought in millions of dollars at box offices in the United States.  George Obama agreed to an interview with the filmmaker, Dinesh D’Souza, who criticized the president for a lack of “brotherly love” because he is not financially supporting his half-brother.  George Obama refuses to directly criticize the president in the interview.

D’Souza later admitted to sending $1,000 to George Obama after the interview.  He told Fox News the money was to cover medical expenses for George Obama’s child who was hospitalized with a chest condition.  But $1,000 is a whopping sum of money for residents of the Haruma slum and far exceeds the typical cost of local hospital care for most treatable childhood chest conditions.

In his 2010 autobiography called Homeland, George Obama said he was raised in a well-to-do Nairobi suburb and was a star pupil at a top boarding school, but his life took a turn at age 15 when he was kicked out of boarding school for drug use and joined a gang.

The president and George Obama were raised by different mothers and neither of them knew their father, Barack Obama Sr., who died when George was still a baby.  Separated in age by 20 years, the half-brothers have met twice.  

Neither George Obama nor his girlfriend’s attorney returned calls from ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Angry Tribe Takes Hostages, Cuts Road to Beirut Airport

ANWAR AMRO/AFP/GettyImages(BEIRUT) -- A heavily armed Lebanese tribe has taken at least 20 hostages, including foreign citizens, and set up a cordon around Beirut's main airport, as a dispute that began with the kidnapping of a tribesman in Syria has escalated into a conflict that now involves much of the Mideast.

Earlier this week, a video posted online showed Hasan al-Miqdad, a member of the Shi'ite al-Miqdad tribe from Lebanon's Baalbek region, being held by masked men who claimed to be members of the Free Syrian Army.

In the video, he "confesses" to being part of a team personally sent to Syria by Hezbollah leader Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah to fight Sunni forces. Al-Miqdad has a bruised face in the footage, and it's unclear if his statement was coerced.

The captive's tribe reacted with fury, rejecting the accusation that Hasan al-Miqdad had been sent by Nasrallah, saying instead that Hasan Al-Miqdad had been in Syria for more than a year because he was unable to find work in Lebanon.

Tensions heightened Wednesday morning, after the al-Miqdad tribe retaliated by kidnapping more than 20 men inside Lebanon, including one Saudi, one Turk, and several Syrians allegedly belonging to the FSA. It's believed at least one of the men, the Turkish national, was kidnapped while leaving the airport.

Masked members of the tribe appeared on television, threatening to kidnap more Syrian, Saudi, Turkish and UAE individuals inside Lebanon if al-Miqdad was not released. They also lashed out at the Lebanese government for failing to intervene and press the FSA for Miqdad's return.

"This family has a military arm that is in charge of abducting Syrians in the Lebanese territories from the North, South, Bekaa to the seashore," said Maher al-Mikdad, a spokesman for the Mikdad family. "We would like to make it clear that the freedom of our son is weighed against the freedom of those who were abducted."

The tribe then took control of the main road leading to the airport, setting fire to a mound of burning tires and blocking traffic in all directions. At least one flight bound for the Beirut airport has been rerouted.

The kidnappings -- and threat of more -- prompted Saudi Arabia to urge all its citizens to leave Lebanon immediately. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates followed soon, with Qatar threatening to expel all its Lebanese nationals if any Qataris were kidnapped.

Up until Wednesday's dramatic developments, Lebanon had been spared some of the sectarian strife engulfing its neighbor. Lebanon lived through a 15-year civil war fought largely along religious sectarian lines.

Wednesday's kidnapping and airport blockage threaten Lebanon's fragile balance, as a pro-Syrian Shi'ite tribe seeks vigilante justice against Sunni groups who are trying to topple the Assad regime, a longtime Hezbollah benefactor.

Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., and Turkey are all majority Sunni countries and are believed to be providing arms and support to the anti-Assad rebels, while Shi'ite Iran remains Syria's staunchest ally.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Two Americans Kidnapped in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula

iStockPhoto/ThinkstockUPDATE: The two American tourists who were kidnapped in Egypt this week were released on Thursday, ABC News has confirmed.

(CAIRO) -- Two Americans tourists been kidnapped in Egypt.

The American embassy in Cairo tell ABC News the two men were kidnapped Wednesday evening in the lawless Sinai peninsula.  They were reportedly driving north from the Red Sea resort town of Dahab when they were taken by armed Bedouin tribesmen, who are now demanding the release of another tribesman arrested earlier this week with a large quantity of drugs.

The embassy said they were working closely with the Egyptian authorities to secure the men's release, but declined to give further details because of privacy concerns.

Col. Majdi Musa, the head of police intelligence in the Sinai, told the semi-official Al Ahram newspaper that the two men were born in 1981 and confirmed their names and passport numbers, which had been reported earlier.

The father of one of the men, who asked ABC News not to disclose their names, said, "We're hoping and praying for their safe return and it's just too early to know any further details."

Egyptian reports said the men are being held in a mountainous area called Ras al-Shaytan, translated as "head of the devil."  They were driving from Dahab to Nuweiba when their minibus was stopped.  They were reportedly then transferred to two cars, according to the driver, who said the tribesmen told them not to worry, that they had demands of the Egyptian government.

The kidnappers are demanding the release of a man named Eid Suleiman Atiwai, who was arrested with a large quantity of drugs on Tuesday.

Lawlessness has risen dramatically in the Sinai, particularly since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.  Kidnappings by Bedouins have become more frequent, and they are also known to traffic in guns and drugs.  Al Qaeda is known to operate in the remote region, though they are not believed to have been involved with this kidnapping.

video platform video management video solutions video player

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Five Aid Workers Abducted in Afghanistan

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Five aid workers have been kidnapped by armed gunmen in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province, according to local officials.

The workers, which include two Western female doctors, are part of a non-governmental organization (NGO) called Medair that specializes in providing humanitarian assistance to regions that are difficult to access.

They were riding on horseback between villages, about 56 miles away from the provincial capital Faizabad, when they were abducted.  The area is not known for heavy insurgent activity. 

This is the same region where 10 aid workers, including six Americans, were killed by a Taliban ambush in 2010.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lebanese Pilgrims Kidnapped in Syria

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BEIRUT) -- Many in Lebanon now fear their country is being pulled into the ongoing conflict in neighboring Syria after reports that 13 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims were kidnapped by members of a rebel group.

News of the abduction sparked violent protests in Beirut, compelling Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah to appeal for calm.

Hezbollah supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who initiated a crackdown on political opponents in March 2011.  There are estimates of between 9,000 and 12,000 deaths since then.

According to state media in Lebanon, the pilgrims were returning from visiting sacred Shiite sites in Iran when their bus was confronted by gunmen from the Free Syria Army.

The women were released and brought to the Syrian city of Aleppo.  The kidnappers said they will free the men once the Syrian government releases their own prisoners, who are being jailed in Aleppo.

Meanwhile, forces loyal to al-Assad are believed to be undertaking a major operation in the area, presumably to get back the hostages.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


American Tourists Kidnapped in Egypt

iStockPhoto/ThinkstockUPDATE: Two elderly American women kidnapped in Egypt were released Friday, hours after they were seized by Bedouin gunmen, Egyptian government TV reported.

(CAIRO) -- Two American tourists were kidnapped by gunmen Friday in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, according to the BBC. The pair has yet to be identified, but the BBC reports they are women.

The two were reportedly traveling in a small bus near St. Catherine’s Monastery when the vehicle was stopped by armed assailants.

The Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Alyoum reported three other tourists were left behind. Their nationalities were not immediately known.

The U.S. Embassy has not yet released a statement.

Earlier this week, Bedouins kidnapped 25 Chinese workers in Sinai. They were released unharmed the following day.

In recent months, Egypt has seen an uptick of violence as the security situation deteriorates. This comes as thousands of protesters in Cairo begin to march on the Ministry of Interior building to protest this week's violent soccer stadium riots that left at least 74 people dead. Soccer fans blame the violence on the lack of security at the game. Four people have died so far Friday in clashes.

Since the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the country's tourism industry has taken a hit, with revenues plunging nearly 30 percent in the last year. Tourism Minister Mounir Abdel-Nour said last month that the number of tourists who came to Egypt in 2011 dropped to 9.8 million from 14.7 million the previous year. Revenues for the year clocked in at $8.8 billion compared to $12.5 billion in 2010.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Somalia SEAL Rescue: American's Kidnapping Intentionally Kept Quiet

Poul Hagen Thisted (L) and Jessica Buchanan (R). Danish Refugee Council(NEW YORK) -- A friend of an aid worker rescued by Navy SEALs in Somalia said that it was important to keep the woman's three-month captivity quiet so her captors would not ask for more money and put her at further risk.

Jessica Buchanan, 32, and 60-year-old Dutch colleague Poul Hagen Thisted were rescued early Wednesday by SEAL Team 6 -- the same group involved in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden last spring -- in a daring mission at a remote encampment deep in northern Somalia.

Christina Scolforo, a close friend of Buchanan, says that her abduction was intentionally kept from the media.

"We didn't want them to get media hype that would cause them to think that she was worth more, and they would want more of a ransom, and then it would prolong the time that she was captive, so a lot of it was hush," Scolforo said.

Bachanan's immediate family is now meeting with her at a U.S. military base in Sicily, Italy, members of the woman's extended family told ABC News.

"She says she feels safe for the first time in 93 days. The men that risked their lives...I just can't say enough so I really, really appreciate it," Dave Buchanan, Jessica's uncle said.

Buchanan and Thisted, who worked with the Danish Refugee Council's Danish Demining Group, were abducted on Oct. 25, 2011 by a group of Somali bandits and held for ransom.

At approximately 1:40 a.m. Wednesday local time -- 5:40 p.m. Tuesday Eastern Time -- SEAL Team 6 was aboard a specially equipped C-130 moving rapidly towards where Buchanan and Thisted were being held.  One by one, the SEALs hurled themselves out of the plane, parachuting silently to within a few miles of the hideout, then hiking to the enemy encampment in pitch darkness, with armed pirates everywhere.

Within minutes of arriving at the target area, gunfire erupted from the kidnappers, but the SEALs quickly killed all nine of the heavily armed men.  By approximately 2:30 a.m. local time, the hostages -- now in U.S. hands -- were moved on board Black Hawk helicopters and headed for Djibouti.

In a statement Wednesday, Buchanan's family said they were, "very grateful that Jessica has been rescued.  This has been just an unbelievable answer to prayers and we are so grateful for the work of the president, the Navy SEALs and the State Department."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Navy SEALs Free American and Danish Hostages Held in Somalia

Danish Refugee Council(WASHINGTON) -- Two relief workers held hostage by kidnappers in northern Somalia since October were rescued Tuesday by Navy SEALs in a nightime raid.

One of the former captives was 32-year-old American Jessica Buchanan, who, with 60-year-old Poul Hagen Thisted from Denmark, worked for Danish Refugee Council.

The identities of their kidnappers is not yet known.  The abductors apparently had no ties to any organized Somali terrorist group.

A U.S. official told ABC News the SEALs parachuted from a plane into the area near the compound where the aid workers were being held.  A gunfight then ensued, and the SEALs were able to free both Buchanan and Thisted unharmed.  The hostages were then taken by helicopter to the U.S. military's Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti.

All of the nine captors were killed, according to the U.S. military, and none of the SEALs were said to have been hurt during the rescue operation.

President Obama may have tipped off the successful outcome of the mission before he gave his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

As he entered the House chambers, Obama pointed to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and said, "Leon.  Good job tonight.  Good job tonight."

video platform video management video solutions video player

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio