CRIME IN MEXICO

Spanish police help foil €50,000 “virtual kidnapping” in Mexico

Victim, a marine engineer on a business trip, was contacted by telephone by local criminals

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Officers from the Spanish National Police force have prevented a criminal gang from extorting €50,000 from the family of a Spanish marine engineer who was on a business trip in Mexico.

The victim of the “virtual kidnapping” was contacted at his hotel in Salinas Cruz and made to believe that he was under permanent watch by members of a cartel, according to Spanish police sources.

The scammers managed to get their victim to change hotels, and contacted his wife and employer to demand a wire transfer of €50,000.

The police said that the victim’s employer was ready to pay the ransom

The engineer remained inside his hotel room for several hours, under constant telephone threat from his virtual captors. But the next morning, the victim convinced the kidnappers to let him return to work at the local military base, arguing that if he did not show up, people would get alarmed and start searching for him.

Once there, the victim was able to explain his situation and seek help. Meanwhile, after being alerted by Mexican authorities, the Spanish police got in touch with the engineer’s wife and employer in order to prevent payment and keep tabs on all communications.

The police said that the victim’s employer was ready to pay the ransom.

In September 2016, a Spanish woman named María Villar was abducted and killed in Mexico City, where she had been living and working for three years. Her kidnappers had demanded a high ransom from her family, whose members include the head of the Spanish Football Federation, Ángel María Villar.

English version by Susana Urra.

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