British tourist held hostage in Italy freed by police after sending dad coded message

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A British man held hostage by a gang in Italy for eight days is freed after police raided the property where he was being held.

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The 25-year-old London man, whose name has not been released, was found Wednesday night in an apartment in central Macerata province, detectives said.

He was handcuffed and barefoot in a room at an address in the city of Monte San Giusto, about 106 miles southeast of San Marino.


The man was allegedly kidnapped by a gang of four who demanded that he pay €7,000 (£5,918) to release him.

He allowed the victim to call his parents to collect the money, at which point he used a coded message to hold them captive, police said.

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The man’s father then contacted the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), which sounded the alarm with the authorities in Italy.

Lieutenant Colonel Massimiliano Mengacini of Italy’s Ross Carabinieri Special Operations Group’s Macerata unit said three men and a woman had been arrested following the alleged abduction.

“He was placed in a darkened room in an apartment, handcuffed and barefoot,” said Mr. Mengasini.

“We are still working to shed light on the matter,” he said.

Despite being fed chunks of food for more than a week, police said the victim was in good physical condition, but was “psychologically tested” by the incident.

Sean Kelly, Operations Manager of the NCA’s Anti-kidnapping and Extortion Unit (AKEU), said: “We have been working closely with the Italian authorities since the abduction of a British man was reported.

“NCA officers in Italy and experts from the AKEU, working closely with UK policing, are providing close support to the Carabinieri Police as part of their ongoing investigation. We are delighted that the incident was successfully resolved Is.”

The victim told police that he had been traveling to Italy since June and had visited several cities, including Naples, Sorrento, Florence and Bologna, before reaching Macerata.


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