The kidnappers had tried to force the father of one of the hostages to sign over to them ownership of an Almaty property worth $400,000 USD in order to secure the kidnapped family’s freedom, State Police representative Dairis Anučins told Latvian Radio Thursday.
It was at the beginning of March when police first learned of the hostage-taking incident, receiving information that a family from Kazakhstan had been seized and held somewhere in an apartment in Riga, but they could not locate the premises at first.
The family of four, including both parents and two daughters aged six and eight had been residing in Riga for several years and were not personally acquainted or connected with the kidnappers, the police spokesman said.
Police were soon able to determine their location, and found them under constant guard by a rotating gang of two to four men at an apartment on Dignajas street, where officers broke in by force with help from the Omega counter-terrorism unit to free the victims. Nobody was hurt during the rescue operation, thanks to the secured involvement of the professional back-up team.
Now a criminal case has been launched into the Kazakh men, two of whom were arrested at the scene immediately, while the others were apprehended later that same day.