Ukrainian special forces rescue kidnapped British tourist


Ukrainian special forces rescue kidnapped British tourist

A British tourist has been rescued by Ukrainian special forces after he was kidnapped in southern Ukraine and forced to telephone relatives in the UK to demand a £20,000 ransom.

The 49-year-old, who has not been named, was said to be 'safe and well' after his ordeal in the industrial city of Dnipropetrovsk, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) said the Briton, who was travelling alone, checked in to a hotel on 3 March, but made a call to relatives in Briton two days later saying he was being held against his will by people demanding a ransom.

His frightened family contacted the British embassy in Kiev, which got in touch with Ukrainian authorities.

GlobalPost reports that three suspects were arrested when SBU established the victim and his abductors' whereabouts but it was not clear why the Briton had been targeted or why he had been travelling in Ukraine.

The tourist and his alleged kidnappers were stopped in a car travelling from Dnipropetrovsk toward Kharkov in the northeast of the country.

SBU spokesman Igor Volovik told the Daily Telegraph: 'The man was a tourist. His kidnappers demanded $30,000 [£20,000] from his relatives for his release.

'The money was supposed to be passed via an electronic money transfer system. The man was freed by Alpha officers and the three kidnappers are under arrest.'

He added that the man 'is safe and well and still in Ukraine, helping with enquiries.'

An FCO spokesman said: 'We are aware of the situation and have been providing consular assistance.'

The kidnappers could face up to 10 years in prison under Ukrainian law.

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