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Kidnapped Israeli businessman escapes

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-10-31

An Israeli businessman kidnapped last week in Ghana by an unknown group who demanded 300,000 dollars has escaped, according to a Ghanaian security source on Thursday.

An Israeli businessman seized in Ghana last week has escaped from his kidnappers who demanded 300,000 dollars for his release, a Ghanaian security source said Thursday.
  
The man, who has not been identified, escaped late Wednesday from the hotel in the Ghanaian capital where he was being held after security agents raided it.
  
Israeli public radio gave a slightly different version of the incident  earlier Thursday, reporting that the businessman simply escaped from the building where he was being held and not mentioning any raid by security services.
  
The radio said he took a taxi to a hotel and alerted the police and his business partner.
  
The man's kidnappers were Nigerian nationals, the security source said. He said the man was "lured into Ghana on October 15 by a gang of Nigerian fraudsters" and kidnapped four days later.
  
The kidnappers then contacted relatives of their victim in Israel, demanding a ransom of 300,000 dollars (234,000 euros).
  
Kidnapping for ransom is rare in Ghana but very common in nearby Nigeria where several hundred people have been seized in the past three years, the vast majority of them in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
  
Most are released unharmed after a few days or a few weeks in captivity, normally after the payment of a ransom.
  
A majority of the victims are oil workers but some criminal gangs seize small children and the elderly parents of prominent political and business people.

Date created : 2008-10-31

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