Progress reported in Kiran Exports “Tiger Kidnapping” Case

The Belgian authorities report progress in the investigation into a tiger kidnapping that happened in the city last October 11. It appears that it may not have been quite what it seemed with the investigation seeming to indicate that the crime was staged by the alleged victim. 
 
Three men entered the home of an employee of the Indian diamond company Kiran BVBA. While the man's wife was kept hostage, the employee was forced to empty the vaults of the Kiran offices in the Hoveniersstraat in the Antwerp diamond district. The total value of the stolen diamonds was estimated at $13 million.
 
from July 22 to 29, five people were arrested in connection with their alleged involvement in the case. These include the prime suspect – a 27-year-old employee at Kiran BVBA, a 29-year-old middle-man of Indian origin, a 48-year-old Armenian who was hired to execute the kidnapping and two Chechens aged 30 and 43 who were hired by the Armenian accomplice.
 
Four of the suspects are still in custody and are alleged to have confessed to their involvement in the case.
 
The alleged middle-man was arrested at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam on July 30 and procedures to extradite him to Belgium are ongoing.
 
Most of the stolen valuables, estimated at $8.5 million, were recovered during a raid in Antwerp on July 31.
 
“We cannot comment on individual cases, but from a general perspective, we are very pleased with the progress that is made in the investigation. As the representative organization of the Antwerp diamond community we invest heavily in the security levels of the Antwerp diamond industry and we will continue to do so in the future,” said the Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC) in an official statement on the situation.
 
“The AWDC Security Office anti-tiger kidnapping program, tailor made for the Antwerp diamond companies, is a perfect example of that approach. A tiger kidnapping still remains an exception. In the past three years, only two tiger kidnappings took place in Antwerp, including this case. The efforts towards security, prevention and the intensified collaboration with other authorities clearly pay off.
 
“We are surprised and appalled to learn that an employee of the concerned diamond company might be involved in this case, especially seeing how confidence is a crucial element in the diamond trade.”
 
A tiger kidnapping, or tiger robbery, involves two separate crimes. The first crime usually involves an abduction of a person. Instead of demanding money, the captors demand that a second crime be committed on their behalf, such as a theft. The person held hostage is kept by the captors until their demands are met.