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Society

Mother of Kidnapped Greek Businessman Wants Proof of Life

February 18, 2022

ATHENS – With a police investigation said having stalled into the abduction of a 40-year-old businessman whose kidnappers demanded a 1-million euro ($1.14 million) ransom, his mother cried out for him to prove he’s alive.

“I beg you – who have my child – to get in touch. To tell us if Giorgos is still alive. I beseech you,” Olga Kyparissi said in an appeal published via the state-run Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) on Feb. 17.

He was snatcued outside his home in a northern suburb of the capital on Dec. 29 but the news agency said police haven’t made any headway in finding him and no progress in the last month.

He was driving home to Drafi from a night out when he was apparently taken by unknown assailants who later got in touch with his brother to demand the ransom and said during the incident to have been on the telephone with a friend at the time, who heard him cry out.

“We are doing everything we can to find a solution quickly… I appeal to your humanity,” Olga Kyparissi said in her message to kidnappers. Her son owns an auto parts company.

In 2017, police on the island of Crete rescued a businessman held by kidnappers for six months. Authorities said 54-year-old Michalis Lebidakis was freed in a raid at an industrial site outside the city of Rethymno. Eight people were arrested.

Officials said no ransom was paid and he was “tired and shaken but in good health.” He is the owner of a plastics company.

Kidnappings are rare in Greece. In 2009, shipping magnate Pericles Panagopoulos was kidnapped in Athens and released after his family paid a ransom. The kidnappers were later arrested.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

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