By John Ensor •
Published: 28 Dec 2023 • 18:10
Policia Nacional Officer.
An international kidnapping ring has been dismantled in a joint police effort.
A terrifying report was published today detailing how a Portuguese businessman was kidnapped and taken across international borders. The horrific crime led to an extensive investigation by Spain’s National Police.
On August 24, a disturbing series of events unfolded, starting in Portugal and culminating in Barcelona. Nine individuals in total have been arrested in various locations. Five in Torremolinos (Malaga), and another four in Alicante, Sucina (Murcia), and Malaga. These arrests are linked to the kidnapping of a businessman in Portugal and an attempted abduction in Setubal.
The nightmare began for the Portuguese businessman when he was violently intercepted in Almancil, Portugal. He was assaulted, threatened with firearms, and gagged by several men.
The kidnappers then embarked on a 1,200-kilometre journey, spanning around 20 hours, which ended in Collbato, Barcelona. There, the victim was abandoned, tied to a tree in a wooded area. He was later found by a local resident and received medical attention for numerous injuries.
The criminal network consisted of two groups: the kidnappers and those managing the financial aspects. The victim’s bank codes were forcibly obtained, leading to transfers exceeding €100,000 to accounts in France and Lithuania.
Additionally, ATM withdrawals and purchases in Barcelona were made using the victim’s stolen bank cards.
The investigation, spearheaded by the National Police, Mossos d’Esquadra, and the Portuguese Judiciary Police, was coordinated by EUROPOL.
Through this collaboration, the main suspects were identified and located. This effort also prevented another kidnapping attempt in Setubal, where a businesswoman narrowly escaped her captors.
The raids and searches led to the seizure of a real firearm, two simulated firearms, telephones, bank documents, zip ties, and clothing worn during the kidnappings. Equipment used to create false documents, including bank cards and driving licenses, was also found.
‘Based on the complaint, and with the location of the victim, a joint investigation was initiated by the National Police and the Mossos d’Esquadra, coordinated by EUROPOL and with the participation of the Portuguese Judicial Police,’ the police reported.
This complex investigation has highlighted the importance of international cooperation in tackling cross-border crime and has undoubtedly brought relief to the victims involved.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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