Israeli businessman Hanoch Dovrath was kidnapped over the weekend in central Moscow
for ransom, and spent a night in a cellar. He was released after high-ranking Israeli and Russian
officials intervened, and said from his home in Moscow that the incident is behind him and that he is barred from speaking about it. "I'm fine now, and pleased things ended this way," he said.
On Friday, four men in black masks stalked 64-year-old Dovrath as he was entering his car. He was shoved into a van along with his driver, who is also his security guard, and blindfolded.
After a few feet, the driver was thrown out, and the kidnappers were joined by three other people.
Dovrath, who owns a technology company in Russia, and is a leader in the city's Jewish
community, was taken to a cellar in the suburbs of Moscow, where he was faced with the demand for a four million dollar ransom payment, and a quarter of the company's shares.
Several hours later, the kidnappers led Dovrath to the city center and freed him, instructing him to go to the bank and even giving him 500 Rubles ($15) for a taxi. Local police later found the car that was used for the kidnapping abandoned with a forged license plate.
"Lately, fear of ransom kidnappings like this one is growing among foreigners who are active in Europe.
Some 1,100 kidnappings occurred in the last year," said Alex Tenzer, a specialist in Russian-Israeli relations.
"Dovrath is known in Moscow as an Israeli
despite him being born in Germany and his company being listed in Cyprus. Of course at first the thought was this was terror related (to him being an Israeli), but upon his release it was clear that it was strictly for ransom. It's still unclear how he was so abruptly released," Tenzer said.
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