Three French citizens held for kidnapping Serbian girl

13th March 2015, Comments 0 comments

Three French citizens were arrested in Serbia Friday after kidnapping a two-year-old girl in the capital Belgrade, prompting a movie-style police chase.

Around noon a man snatched the girl from her mother's arms on the street and fled in a car driven by a woman, police said.

"We heard a voice screaming 'my child, my child' and saw a man and a woman who took away the child speeding off in a car," a witness told national RTS television channel.

Police used cars and helicopters in a sensational chase for some three hours, eventually managing to stop the vehicle with French number plates after it crashed through a ramp at pay toll some 30 kilometres (18 miles) northwest of the capital, Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said.

The girl was found unharmed and returned to her parents, the minister said.

"The kidnappers had French passports so we immediately contacted the French police and learnt that the documents were valid and persons were known to the police there as they had committed a number of crimes before," Stefanovic said.

He said the motive and whether they targeted a particular child was unclear. They had on them the passport of a French child of a similar age.

In a separate statement, the interior ministry said they were suspected to be human traffickers.

If they are tried in Serbia and convicted, they face up to a 15-year jail term.

© 2015 AFP

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