A British tourist who was allegedly held captive for a week by an Italian gang has been rescued by police after managing to secretly tell his family he was in trouble.
The unnamed 25-year-old was reportedly kidnapped last week by a group of Italian criminals who attempted to get his family to pay a €7,000 ransom in exchange for his release.
Italian police confirmed on Thursday, October 14, that they had conducted a successful raid to free a man who was being held in an apartment in Monte San Giusto, near Macerata in central Italy, with four men arrested in connection with the incident.
In a statement following the raid, a spokesperson for the Carabinieri said they had been alerted by British police after the man was able to raise the alarm during a phone call with his family.
‘His family, who are fairly wealthy, received a message from him and contacted the British police and the NCA, who in turn contacted the Carabinieri. We checked out the case and then planned the rescue raid,’ said Colonel Nicola Candido, per The Telegraph.
His captors had reportedly allowed the man to call his family in order to ask them to send money, enabling him to use a code to inform them he’d been kidnapped.
Within 36 hours of the authorities being alerted Italian officers had successfully located the apartment where he was being held by tracking his mobile phone, executing the raid on Wednesday afternoon. The man is said to be shaken but physically unharmed after having being kept barefoot and handcuffed.
Another officer involved in the raid recalled, ‘The young man was found in a darkened room with furniture pushed up against the windows. He was fed fairly sporadically by his captors. He was exhausted but he is slowly recovering.’
Police added that they were exploring motives for the kidnapping, with officers reportedly curious as to the ‘relatively modest’ ransom being asked for by the gang.
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