Wednesday, September 24, 2014

British man kidnapped, tortured and held to ransom by 'Muslim gang' when he went to Odessa, Ukraine to find a bride

(Daily Mail) A British man was freed by Ukrainian secret services after being kidnapped and tortured while seeking a potential 'bride' through a dating agency in Odessa, it was revealed today.

The man, aged 58, was abducted by a 'criminal gang', believed to be Muslim, after arranging to meet a young woman.

He has been named as Martin John, but he could be John Martin as Ukrainians often give the surname first.

He was held in a cellar for three days while his relatives were contacted in Britain and told he would be killed if they did not pay £3,700 to save his life.

'The scared family made several Western Union transfers of several thousand dollars before finally deciding to contact the Ukrainian embassy in the UK, which then passed the information about the victim to the police,' said Volodymyr Shabliyenko, spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

The address where he was held was stormed by police and secret service officers and the man released 'unharmed'.

The kidnappers - believed to include three Muslim men and a Ukrainian woman - were arrested.

The gang's leader was said to be 'a native of the United Arab Emirates who was in Ukraine illegally'.

'They tortured the man and threatened to kill him if his family failed to pay ransom,' stated a local report. It gave no details of his 'torture'.

'The group included four perpetrators, a Ukrainian woman, two Pakistanis and a native of North Caucasus,' said an SBU intelligence agency source.