Guardia Civil in Torrevieja have prevented an attempted extortion in Brazil in which money was being demanded to release the friend of a 60 year old man from Guardamar del Segura, who reported the incident.
According to the Guardia Civil, this man told them he had just received a video call from his friend in Brazil, a 72 year old woman, who he thought was being kidnapped.
While he talked with her, she received a call on her mobile in which unknown people told her they had kidnapped her daughter, her son in law and her three granddaughters, asking for a ransom of 7,000 reales (about €2,000).
The supposed kidnappers forced the woman to stay on the phone for 11 hours and managed to get her bank details having threatened to hurt her family. They assured her all her phones and devices were being monitored to prevent her from alerting the police. One of them even pretended to be one of her relatives, making her even more nervous and unable to think clearly.
Her friend, who was listening to all this, tried to mediate at first but they told her to hang up on him. Instead she turned off the sound and kept him on the line, which was when he alerted the Guardia Civil.
The officers went to his house and came up with a plan to communicate with the woman using written notes while she stayed in contact with the captors. Using the notes they found out more about the victim and the demands, and got help from a Guardia Civil Commander who is currently working in the Spanish Embassy in Brazil and mediated between the two countries' authorities.
As a result they managed to locate the supposed hostages and found them to be perfectly fine. The kidnapping turned out to be a ruse and the Brazilian authorities are continuing the investigation.
Apparently this sort of thing is common in that country and the kidnappers seemed to have quite a bit of experience at it, always asking for less than 10,000 reales, an amount above which an alert is alerted, noted the Brazilian authorities.