Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

BRIT millionaire Colin Armstrong has been rescued by cops after being snatched in Ecuador.

The businessman, 78, was kidnapped in the early hours of Saturday at his ranch in Baba, Los Rios province, by 15 men disguised as police.

Brit millionaire Colin Armstrong, pictured with a blurred face by local law policies, was freed by police after being snatched in Ecuador

AFPThe 78-year-old had been kidnapped at his ranch by 15 men disguised as cops[/caption]

X / PRENSAVirtual_On Tuesday, the Brit’s Colombian lover returned to his son’s home wearing a bomb vest, which can be seen being removed from her by an operative[/caption]

On Wednesday Cesar Augusto Zapata Correa, Ecuador‘s police chief, tweeted that Mr Armstrong had been found on near Manabi – not far from Los Rios where he was snatched.

“Our units released citizen Colin A., kidnapped a few days ago in Los Rios. At the moment he is safe and healthy,” Cmr Correa wrote.

The official X account of Ecuador’s national police on Wednesday morning also retweeted a picture appearing to show Colin with two officers, with the message: “#SinTreguaAlDelito” (#NoTruceToCrime).

Cops said nine people had been arrested in connection with the kidnap.

Colin’s son Nick Armstrong, who helps run the family estate in North Yorkshire, had flown to Ecuador to help in the hunt.

The father and son are directors of the 500-acre Tupgill Park Estate near Leyburn in north Yorkshire, which has been the family home for more than 45 years. 

On Tuesday, the Brit’s pole-dancing lover reappeared at Nick’s house wearing a bomb vest.

Katherine Paola Santos was abducted with her wealthy Brit boyfriend on Saturday.

But 24 hours later she was reportedly seen at the home of his son Nick who helps run the family’s agricultural supplies firm in Ecuador, in a taxi wearing the device.

Police were alerted and a bomb disposal team raced to the scene.

A video emerged appearing to show an operative carefully removing the vest from Santos.

The terrified woman then flees to safety as the bomb disposal expert pulls off the apparent device.

Fitness fanatic Katherine is being questioned by cops over the kidnapping, her apparent release and whether she was forced to wear the explosive vest by the people who snatched Colin.

Katherine was identified as the woman in the video by Colombian news outlet El Heraldo.

And meanwhile, Ecuadorian outlet Ecuavista said the woman in the video is the “one who was with the businessman during the kidnapping”.

The footage was also shared on Ecuadorian TV.

Local politician Ricardo Vanegas told The Sun that the glamorous Katherine is now being quizzed by cops.

Colin’s neighbour Luis Carpio Ramos said: “I hope that God touches the hearts of those people so that they release him soon and we have him back.”

Colin, a UK Honorary consul in Ecuador until 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.”

Photos of Mr Amstring and Katherine show the pair looking loved up on holiday.

The lover had shared the snaps all over her Instagram, which now appears to have been deleted, and show the couple in front of the Hollywood sign and pyramids in Egypt.

Other images show the pair snuggled up after a swim in the ocean, and dolled up to nines at an event.

Cops are investigating the kidnap at Rancho Rodeo Grande, thought to have taken place at around 2.45am local time.

One local report said the raiders were wearing police uniforms as disguises.

Another video said to be circulating on social media appears to show the aftermath of the raid with signs of a forced entry, along with traces of blood and ransacked rooms.

A woman filming inside takes close-up shots of broken plates on the floor and a man who appeared to be holding a bandage to his head.

She then walks into one of the bedrooms where blood covers the bed before saying: “This is where they hit him. My God what is this.”

Mr Armstrong’s daughter has also now come forward, pleading for information on his disappearance.

Diana Armstrong-Bruns told MailOnline: “This is a critical time, we’ve been told not to say anything to anyone.

“We just want my father back.”

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InstagramThe Brit businessman and his girlfriend, Katherine Paola Santos[/caption]

InstagramThe couple often post pictures of their romantic getaways[/caption]

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