Thursday, March 20, 2014

Brazil: Kidnapped Italian Girl, 14, Rescued by Police in Cabo Fria, Ransom Demand was $300,000

According to The Latin American Tribune, police in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday morning (March 19) rescued an Italian teenage girl, 14, who had been kidnapped four days earlier in the seaside resort of Arraial do Cabo.

Two of the kidnappers were shot and killed during the rescue. A third confederate fled.

The kidnap victim was safely rescued.

Police found the 14-year-old girl in a house in Cabo Frio, a suburb of the city of Rio de Janeiro, where they were received by the kidnappers with gunfire.

The victim, who had lived for about five months in Brazil with her father, was immediately taken to Rio de Janeiro for medical and psychological evaluation.

COMMENT: The abductors were demanding a ransom of 720,000 reais or $300,000 for the safe return of the teen, who said she had been kept chained and blindfolded in the basement in the house.

Police identified the two dead suspects as Osmar Elias Barbosa, 49, and Edson de Souza, 60, both of whom had criminal records.

The kidnappers last Saturday (March 15) night broke into a house where the girl was staying with her father, Italian businessman Ettore Casteluzzo, who had moved to Brazil six years earlier, forcing father and daughter to get into a vehicle.
It was no surprise that the kidnappers released Mr. Casteluzzo, as he obviously was best in a position to assemble the ransom demand. He was summarily released along a highway after the abduction of  father and daughter.

Having worked extensively in Brazil in protecting executives, the immediate family of any business executive whose daughter can prompt a ransom demand of $300,000 should be predominantly focused on family security.

First of all, who knew that father and daughter were staying in a given house in Arraial do Cabo? 

It would be those individuals who police should focus on in terms of possible suspects as to who may have leaked information as to where the Italians were staying.