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Friday, 2 April 2021

Italian businessmen under investigation for plotting their own fake kidnap with a gang only to be sold by the gang to ISIS terrorists


Italian businessmen under investigation for plotting their own fake kidnap with a gang only to be sold by the gang to ISIS terrorists

Two Italian businessmen are under investigation for allegedly planning their own kidnappings for a share of the ransom money.


Alessandro Sandrini, 32, and Sergio Zanotti, 60, allegedly plotted the scheme with at least three other men.


The gang had promised Sandrini he would be taken to a villa where he would enjoy ‘women alcohol and drugs’, prosecutors say, but instead in October 2016, the gang took him to Adana, Turkey, and sold him to Syrian terror group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.  

 

Italian businessmen under investigation for plotting their own fake kidnap with a gang only to be sold by the gang to ISIS terrorists


The same thing had happened to Zanotti a few months earlier, in April, but he was taken to Antioch, still in Turkey.

 

Italian businessmen under investigation for plotting their own fake kidnap with a gang only to be sold by the gang to ISIS terrorists


In both kidnaps, the terrorists published disturbing photographs of the men.  


Sandrini was pictured on his knees in an orange jumpsuit, with two armed extremists standing behind him.  

 

Jihadists also sent out an image of Zanotti kneeling, wearing a white robe while a suited-up man held a gun behind him. 


 Zanotti was released exactly three years later and is currently under investigation for his alleged role in the scheme. 


Santrini was freed a month before in May 2019, but when he returned to Italy he was immediately put on house arrest over several robberies he allegedly committed before his kidnapping.  


Three of the men who Sandrini and Zanotti allegedly plotted with, Italian Alberto Zanini, 54, and Albanians Fredi Frrokaj, 43, and Olsi Mitraj, 41, were arrested in Brescia, northern Italy.


Santrini has claimed that he had not planned his own kidnapping and was simply on holiday in Turkey when he was kidnapped.  


Santrini said: ‘I lost my way to the hotel and found myself walking around the streets of Adana.


 ‘I felt someone putting something on my face. I felt drugged and I fell asleep. I woke up in a room where there were two people who were armed and hooded.’


But anti-terrorism police and the Italian Carabinieri launched a probe into the kidnappings and Santrini was this week charged with fraud and simulating a crime. 


Santrini's ex-girlfriend claims that he had offered her €100,000 (£85,000) to play along with the plot.  

 

She told local media: ‘During the drive to the airport he kept telling me that I should stay calm, because when he got home we’d have loads of money that would come from the foreign ministry as ransom for his release.’


 ‘Before he left, he assured me that if I kept up the charade with his family, the newspapers and the police, €100,000 (£85,000) would be mine.’ 

 


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