Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

A SET of chilling new details about the horror kidnapping of Brit millionaire Colin Armstrong has emerged.

The ruthless gang members who snatched Armstrong were caught with grenades, guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition after their houses were raided by cops.

Twitter /@@PoliciaEcuadorCops searched the homes of the gang of kidnappers and found a cache of weapons including guns, grenades, ammunition and even phones and unknown substances[/caption]

Twitter /@@PoliciaEcuadorThe whole host of chilling new evidence found over the kidnapping of Brit millionaire Colin Armstrong and his wife[/caption]

Twitter /@@PoliciaEcuadorSeven of the nine men who have been arrested over the kidnapping[/caption]

Colin was snatched with his wife Katherine Paola Santos by 15 thugs reportedly dressed as fake cops

The 78-year-old was stuck in kidnap hell after 15 thugs took him and a woman – now confirmed to be his partner Katherine Paola Santos – from their Ecuador home on December 16, dressed as police officers.

Since then both have been freed – the lady was spotted on Tuesday wearing a bomb vest that police had to carefully remove before she was questioned.

Colin was then rescued a day later after being found near Manabi – not far from Los Rios where he was snatched and was taken to hospital for routine health checks in a stable condition.

Several mobile phones and two kilos worth of unknown substances were also seized and are in the hands in the cops now to be tested and searched for further evidence.

Cesar Zapata, Commander General of Ecuador’s police force spoke at a press conference after nine arrests had been made in connection to the kidnapping saga and revealed what his force found during the house raids.

He said: “Police have carried out more than 30 searches of different houses and during those searches found five grenades, six firearms, 1,500 rounds of ammunition, 30 detonators, two vehicles that were used in this crime, nine mobiles and two kilos of substances that are being analysed.

“We are very happy as police about the release of this citizen who is safe and well.

“We will not tolerate criminal acts like these continuing to take place. Zero impunity.

“Our investigations will not stop here. We will continue to investigate how many other people participated.”

Zapata also outlined the exact timeline of the investigation which started on December 16, late at night when cops were told of the crisis situation.

Acting swiftly according to Zapata, he went on to say: “At 12pm a vehicle was found in Salitre with which this crime was committed and yesterday around 11pm the kidnapped man was freed in Rocafuerte in Manabi.

“We have had important results from the moment this operative was put into place, with the arrest of nine people who allegedly participated in this criminal act according to initial investigations.

“One is a foreigner and eight are Ecuadorian nationals and three of these eight Ecuadorian nationals are already known to police.”

Twitter /@@PoliciaEcuadorFive grenades were captured amongst the new evidence[/caption]

Twitter /@@PoliciaEcuadorAccording to Cesar Zapata, Commander General of Ecuador’s police force 1,500 rounds of ammunition were found[/caption]

Twitter /@@PoliciaEcuadorSix guns were also seized including these two more lethal firearms[/caption]

The gang linked to the kidnapping could be allied to a brutal Mexican cartel that forces new recruits to eat the hearts of rivals straight from their chest.

Los Tiguerones, who identify themselves with tattoos of beret-wearing tigers are a shadowy gang that makes up a small support unit of Los Choneros, one of Ecuador’s oldest organised crime groups.

Los Choneros were allied to El Chapo Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel and Los Tiguerones is known to be linked to Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

The cartel is a Mexican organised crime syndicate known for its extreme use of violence.

Last year, it emerged the CJNG gang was forcing new members into cannibalism and had started sharing videos of gang members feasting on the hearts of their enemies.

Reports at the time said shocking public displays of aggression were used to threaten rival groups and show dominance.

Speaking about the woman who was also snatched, Zapata went on to reveal that the explosives in her vest weren’t actually real.

However Katherine was questioned by cops after she was freed as the motive was found to be over taking some of the billionaire’s money but she was let go and taken to a safe place.

General Freddy Sarzosa Guerra, the police’s director of investigations, said: “The kidnap was orientated towards two victims, the British man who was freed and his partner who was liberated the same day of the kidnap.

“She was interviewed before being taken to a place of safety.”

“This is being investigated as a kidnap for money and the motive was an economic one.

“The kidnappers wanted to earn a high amount of money out of this but police tactics led to individuals involved being identified and arrested.”

Colin, a UK Honorary consul in Ecuador since 2016, is a popular figure in the area where locals called him “Mr Colin”.

He was awarded the OBE and Companions of the Order of St Michael and St George for services to the British Monarchy in 2011, The Standard reports.

Fellow local Alberto Alvarado added: “The news took us by surprise, no one imagined that they would do that to him.”

The couple were said to be driven away in Colin’s black BMW.

Cops initially managed to activate satellite tracking of the vehicle which showed it was being driven south towards Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador, but they eventually lost track of it.

Local reports say British intelligence was involved in the hunt for Colin.

The Foreign Office previously said: “We are in contact with the Ecuadorean authorities following the disappearance of a British man and are supporting his family.”

The photo of Colin Armstrong after he was rescued from his kidnap hell

Twitter /@@PoliciaEcuadorTwo kilos worth of unknown substances were also seized and are being tested[/caption]

Colombian Katherine was questioned by police after she was let go from her kidnappers wearing a bomb vest

Twitter /@@PoliciaEcuadorArmed raids were conducted after Colin Armstrong and his wife were safely recused in Ecuador[/caption]

The 78-year-old was snatched from his home on Saturday 16

Twitter /@@PoliciaEcuadorSeveral phones were also taken from the houses[/caption]

Twitter /@@PoliciaEcuadorThe weapons are thought to potentially belong to the Los Tiguerones gang[/caption]

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