A Syrian luxury car dealer and crypto investor was kidnapped while on holiday in Spain last week, in a plot that involved armed kidnappers, a three-story villa, a room prepared for butchery, and a million-dollar ransom.
The man, unidentified, reportedly ran a Dubai-based crypto fund and had travelled from his home in Hungary to the Costa del Sol for a two-week trip alone, Spanish outlet Nius Diario reports. He asked his friend if he knew anyone in the area — they put him in touch with a trio from Greece and Albania. After partying together for several days, they apparently decided to turn on him.
Things went awry at midday on May 3, when Spanish police were alerted of the Syrian man’s kidnapping. According to the police, the man’s friend was sent an image and voicemail from the kidnappers to show that the investor was being held at gunpoint. The friend was instructed to cough up €1 million euros.
However, unbeknown to the kidnappers, the victim was able to sneak a photo of the view from his window and send it to authorities. The picture and its landmarks were enough to help police determine he was being held in a three-story luxury villa in Malaga.
An operation consisting of around 50 police officers was then arranged to free the victim. Within five hours of receiving the image, officers surrounded the villa and rushed in to free the crypto investor.
His captors, two Greek men and an Albanian man — aged 35, 36, and 54 respectively — were arrested. The crypto investor was freed and sustained only minor bruising.
A police search yielded two firearms, one with a silencer, and €5,000 and $1,200 in cash. A room decked in plastic sheeting and saws were also discovered — suggesting that torture was in the cards for the crypto investor if he didn’t cooperate.
Reports indicate the alleged captors were in custody on May 5 and are awaiting trial in Torremolinos. One was found to have a crime record for armed robbery in another part of the country and a fake passport. False identification was found on a second kidnapper.