The kidnapping was part of an elaborate plan by the unnamed Spaniard, who’s described as being twenty something, to get his parents to ante up the money for his poker debts. The owner of a local poker club, whom the man owed money to, is also said to be in on the hoax.
According to TheLocal.es, the poker club owner doubled as the “kidnapper” and called the young man’s family to issue threats. He said that he’d kill their son and “chop his legs off” if a ransom wasn’t met.
The parents even got a chance to speak to their son, with him urging them to pay the money or the kidnappers “were going to kill him.” Eventually, the son returned home and the family alerted authorities to this miraculous happening.
However, the Spanish National Police became suspicious when the boy didn’t have a mark on him – unusual for such an aggressive ransom attempt. Police then began questioning the bad poker player, with him eventually confessing that he faked his own kidnapping to get money for his poker debts. The son and poker club owner have since been arrested for the fake kidnapping plot and are now awaiting charges.
Interestingly enough, this is only the latest fake kidnapping in Cartagena. Back in June 2015, a 28-year-old woman said that she’d been kidnapped in an attempt to get money from her boyfriend.
Perhaps these fake kidnapping plots aren’t so hard to believe, though, when one considers the high crime rate across Spain. Just a couple years ago, poker pros like Jens Kyllonen were victimized in a “sharking” scandal, where criminals broke into their hotel rooms and installed Trojan viruses on computers to rob the players blind. Luckily, Kyllonen caught on before submitting any financial-sensitive information for the criminals to see.