A wealthy individual from the United Kingdom has been rescued following a distressing incident involving individuals believed to be associated with a cartel. In Ecuador, fifteen individuals, posing as law enforcement officers, violently entered the victim’s residence.
They purportedly abducted both the millionaire and his girlfriend, with intentions of demanding a ransom for his release. The authorities successfully located the victim when the kidnappers allegedly outfitted the girlfriend with a bomb vest and sent her outside to convey their demands.
According to The New York Post, Colin Armstrong was abducted from his estate, Rancho Rodeo Grande, along with his girlfriend, Katherine Paola Santos, on December 16.
Approximately 15 kidnappers, all masked and dressed in police uniforms, compelled the 78-year-old millionaire and his companion into his black BMW. Law enforcement managed to trace the vehicle as it traveled south, but the signal was lost, and the authorities later discovered the abandoned car on the side of the road.
For about a day later, Santos appeared at the residence of one of Armstrong’s sons, arriving in a taxi. Reportedly, she conveyed ransom demands from the kidnappers while wearing a bomb vest, which officials safely removed.
According to the Daily Mail, investigators harbor suspicions that the girlfriend may have been implicated. The woman underwent extensive questioning by officers regarding the specifics of her release.
In an operation named “Libertad 122,” police conducted searches at 30 residences in their endeavor to locate Armstrong. Eventually, they discovered him, along with a small arsenal of weapons and ammunition, police vests, and 2 kilograms of an unidentified substance.
Investigators hold the belief that Armstrong became a target for the cartel after resisting demands for protection money. They suspect that the notorious Los Tiguerones group, potentially linked to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (JNGC), orchestrated the kidnapping. However, the investigation into this matter is still underway.
The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (JNGC), renowned for its brutality, allegedly initiated a disturbing practice last year, compelling new recruits to consume the hearts of their adversaries. In Ecuador, cartels, including JNGC, have gained considerable influence, extending their control to prison facilities. The national murder rate in the country has surged fourfold since 2018, reflecting the escalating impact of these criminal organizations.