Spanish police freed a Dutchman living in Spain, after he had been kidnapped and held for eleven days by a gang of Eastern European criminals, the Telegraaf reports.
On June 12th the man was stopped by men wearing police uniforms on the way to his home in the Catalan town of Lloret de Mar. They then bundled him into the boot of a car and took him to the first of several addresses.
The man’s wife agreed to pay a €1.5m ransom at a site near Madrid but before the handover could take place as the kidnappers got cold feet – presumably because they had noticed a police presence, the paper writes.
The police had been monitoring the gang at an address 50km from Madrid, where they were holding the victim, then moved in to free him just as he was being loaded into a van.
The man, who has not been named but is thought to have a Serbo-Croatian background, was semi-conscious after having been drugged by the kidnappers but was otherwise unharmed.
Police arrested four men. According to Spanish newpaper El Mundo, the Romanian gang leader had studied medicine in a Madrid hospital at one time, which may explain how he came by the drugs.
One gang member was later arrested in Madrid. It is unknown why they targeted the man.
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