By Ryan Leggatt, Sydney
Nepal Police has said it recently rescued a Nepalese migrant worker who was held hostage for ransom in Athens. The 24 year old man from eastern Nepal was freed after Greek police led a successful operation on April 13, a statement released by Kathmandu’s police headquarters said yesterday.
Victim Krishna Gurung had fallen prey to a criminal gang led by a fellow Nepalese citizen – a 31 year old woman identified as Aiti Ghale, who has already been arrested by the Greek authorities. She was assisted by another Nepalese man, 35 year old Dal Thapa Tamang, who is also under police custody in Greece.
The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police said this was the first time that the country’s police department investigated a crime and coordinated a police operation in a foreign country leading to the rescue of a Nepalese citizen.
The abductors telephoned Chandra Prasad Gurung, the brother of the hostage, to demand a ransom of 14,000 euros. The accused threatened to take his brother to Pakistan and kill him there, local media in Kathmandu said.
Yesterday’s Nepal Police press release said that the CIB was apprised of the abduction when Krishna Gurung called his brother on March 30. The department launched an immediate investigation, simultaneously establishing contact with the Greek police through Interpol.
Acting on information provided by the CIB, the Crime Against Life and Property Investigation Sub-Division of Greek Police rescued Mr Gurung from a unit in central Athens. The police departments in both countries apparently used various techniques to keep the victim safe while they carried out the investigation for a week since the family member was contacted by the alleged abductors. He was eventually rescued from Kypseli, a suburb in central Athens.
When he was found, the victim’s hands and legs were tied, police said. He also had wounds at different parts of his body including on head.
CIB spokesperson SP Dibesh Lohani told local media yesterday that his department worked closely with the Greek authorities and provided details of the crime including the phone number which was used to contact the brother of the kidnap victim.
According to the statement, Mr Gurung had been working abroad for the past seven years – first in Iraq and then entering Greece approximately two years ago. He apparently entered the European nation without a passport and initially lived in Thessaloniki. His nightmare began when he came in contact with Ms Ghale after having moved to Athens towards the end of March.
The accused invited the victim to her apartment where she had kept her accomplices including Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian nationals ready.
Indian national Jamal Kazi (27), Bangladeshi national Mammun Mullah (28) and Pakistani national Monsoor Ahmed (32) have also been detained while Greek police are on the hunt for two more Bangladeshi nationals.