Millionaire's daughter freed after bizarre kidnap

14th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 September 2005, AMSTERDAM — The daughter of a multimillionaire was freed unharmed by her kidnappers after a short abduction.

14 September 2005

AMSTERDAM — The daughter of a multimillionaire was freed unharmed by her kidnappers after a short abduction.

The gang ordered Claudia Melchers, 37, out of their car in Arnhem late on Wednesday, Amsterdam detective chief Willem Woelders told a press conference on Thursday.

It is not known where Melchers was taken following the abduction from her home in Amsterdam late on Monday.

Melchers told investigators she was held on the first floor of building with the shades pulled down. She said she heard a radio with German programmes. Police suspect the gang kept her in the east of the country or across the border in Germany.

Woelders said Melchers was not harmed physically but it was too early to say what psychological impact the incident would have on her.

The kidnappers did not make contact with her family or the police but left a note in Melchers' apartment in which they demanded 300 kilos of cocaine. The street value of such an amount of the drug would be about EUR 15 million. This 'ransom' was not paid, Woelders said.

Police have only limited descriptions of the three men believed to be involved. Two of them were of South American appearance and the third was black. The men spoke English to Claudia Melchers during the ordeal.

The armed men kidnapped her from her home on Jan van Eijckstraat in the south of Amsterdam at 10.30pm on Monday.

When police officers called to the house in response to a report of a robbery, they found a male neighbour of the victim and two young children. The man said the gang had threatened him and tied him up. He was freed by one of the children shortly before the police arrived.

The victim's father Hans Melchers is the owner of Melchemie Holland, a wholesale business trading in artificial fertiliser and chemicals.

He has previously denied selling chemicals which were used by Saddam Hussein to make poison gas.

The businessman is estimated to be worth EUR 460 million and stands at number 36 in the list drawn up by Quote magazine of the 500 richest people in the Netherlands.

The magazine has rejected allegations that the list encourages kidnappings.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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