One of the police raids in progress. / Mossos d'Esquadra

Two arrested in Torremolinos after a businessman is kidnapped in Barcelona

After being taken at gunpoint the gang demanded a 20,000-euro ransom from the victim's family to release him

ÁLVARO FRÍAS / JUAN CANO

National Police officers on the Costa del Sol have arrested two people in Torremolinos for their alleged involvement in a plot after a businessman was kidnapped at gunpoint in Barcelona and held for a ransom.

In total, half a dozen arrests have been made following a joint operation between the Mossos d'Esquadra regional force in the north of Spain and investigators on the Costa del Sol. Two properties in Barcelona were also raided, one in Hospitalet and one in Estepona.

The businessman was kidnapped when he was about to enter his house on 5 April. The gang robbed his property and took valuables before holding him against his will at another property in Barcelona and demanding a 20,000 euro ransom from his family to release him.

Second demand

When the amount was paid, and the victim was freed, a second threat was made that if he did not make a second payment of 40,000 euros, the safety of his family and his businesses could be affected.

The police investigation began the following day, when the victim reported the events at a Mossos d'Esquadra police station. While an operation was launched to protect the victim and his family, the police worked to identify the criminals.

Officers identified a vehicle used in the crime, which travelled to Algeciras (Cádiz) and, later, to Estepona during the period of the investigations. For this reason, the Mossos d'Esquadra contacted the National Police on the south coast for their help.

Six arrests

The joint police operation culminated in the arrest of six people: four in Catalonia and two in Torremolinos. During raids on four properties - two in Barcelona, one in Hospitalet and one in Estepona – officers found more than 8,500 euros in cash and seized four vehicles (two reported as stolen) in addition to key documentation evidence, mobile phones and a bulletproof vest.

The six arrested people, five men and one woman, aged between 22 and 42 years old, face charges of robbery with violence, kidnapping and belonging to a criminal organisation.