Kidnapped Rotterdam resident reports to officers on the street

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Kidnapped Rotterdam resident reports to officers on the street

The 71-year-old Rotterdam resident who was kidnapped earlier has been found again since Saturday morning. The man reported himself to the police.

Report

The man arrived at the Rhoonse Baan in Rotterdam just before half past eight and reported himself to officers who were there to handle another report. The man has been taken to hospital for a health check.

Officers were on the Rhoonse Baan on a report of a vehicle in water. The man spoke to them. From this conversation it became clear that it concerned the previously kidnapped Rotterdammer. The man had no external injuries, but was taken to hospital for checks. It is still unknown how the man became free again. The investigation into this is still ongoing.

Kidnapping

The 71-year-old imam was pulled into a bus by two men on Thursday, January 25, on Zoutziederstraat in Rotterdam, while a third perpetrator drove the van. The victim was walking home from the mosque at that time, a walk of a few hundred meters.

After the man was pulled into the van, he drove towards Mathenesserweg/Taandersstraat. The van’s (forged) license plates were soon traced and placed in the computer system that connects to roadside cameras that scan license plates. This license plate recognition system gave a final ‘hit’ on the Haringvliet bridge towards the south around 8 p.m. From there there is no trace.

Getaway car

The van in which the victim was pulled is a previously stolen black Ford Transit Custom 3 (year 2019) with thin orange stripes, silver-colored mirrors, side bars and with forged license plates. According to the police, an earlier call for witnesses about the van into which the victim was pulled did not yield any useful tips.

A major investigation was immediately started to investigate the background to this kidnapping and to get the man home safely. On Tuesday, January 30, a 45-year-old man from Zwolle was arrested on suspicion of involvement. On February 2, it was decided that he should remain in custody for at least another 14 days. No other arrests have been made yet.

On Thursday, February 8, the police raided a home in South Rotterdam in connection with the search for the man. He was kidnapped on January 25. At the beginning of February, the police also searched a warehouse in Nieuwe-Tonge. Unfortunately, the man was not found again.

Reward

On Friday, the chief public prosecutor offered a tip of 20,000 euros for the golden tip that would lead to the whereabouts of the kidnapped Rotterdam resident. Some tips came in about the possible getaway car, but unfortunately none that were useful.

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