Italian police have released a 25-year-old Briton who was found barefoot and handcuffed in an apartment room where he had been held hostage for eight days.
The man from London, whose name has not yet been released, had been on vacation in Italy when he was allegedly kidnapped by a group of four and held captive in Monte San Giusto, a town in the Macerata province in the central region of Marche.
His alleged captors allowed him to call his parents in the United Kingdom to ask them to send him € 7,000, the amount required to ensure his release, and through a coded message his parents understood that he was being detained against his will.
The man’s father contacted the National Crime Agency (NCA), which in turn alerted the Italian police.
Massimiliano Mengasini, a lieutenant colonel in the Macerata unit of Italian special operations group Ros Carabinieri, said the man was located and released on Wednesday. Three men and one woman were arrested for the alleged kidnapping.
“They had kept him in the dark room of an apartment, handcuffed and barefoot. We are still working to shed light on the case, ”Mengasini said. The man was found to be in good health, despite having been fed in moderation. Police said he had been “psychologically evaluated” for the ordeal.
Sean Kelly, COO 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 Briton was reported.
“NCA officers in Italy and AKEU specialists, working alongside the UK police, have provided close support to the carabinieri police as part of their ongoing investigation. We are pleased that this incident has been successfully resolved. “
The man told police he had been in Italy since early June after traveling to the country to escape the UK after the coronavirus lockdown.
In recent months he had visited several cities, including Naples, Sorrento, Florence, and Bologna, before arriving in Macerata. At the time of the abduction, the man was with a friend, who managed to escape and inform his relatives in the UK.