Fewer and Fewer Victims Of Kidnapping For Ransom Recover Their Freedom

In the last 3 years, 39 people were kidnapped for ransom in the country. A total of 139 people were arrested for committing these type of crimes.


The American, William Sean Creighton, who was kidnapped on September 24 of last year, was the latest victim of extortive kidnapping or kidnapping for ransom (secuestros extorsivos in Spanish) to be found, in an unnamed grave in Quepos, even though the family had paid the ransom.

He is part of the statistics of kidnapping for ransom that show that in the last three years fewer victims recover their freedom, based on the report by the Consejo Superior del Poder Judicial (Superior Council of the Judiciary).


Statistical chart from the Poder Judicial 2018

Statistics from the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) indicate that while in 2016 100% of the victims were released, for 2017 it was only 93% and for last year (2018), the percentage dropped to 67%.


So, what happened in the 2017 and 2018 cases? The victims (not freed) were killed.

OIJ investigations were able to establish that in 2017, the only case where the victim was not freed, was killed after the payment of ¢5 million colones.

From the Poder Judicial report. The blue incidates number of cases with ransom demand, orange no ranson, gray unknown if there was a ransom demanded

Last year, the situation was similar. In total 5 people were killed after being kidnapped for ransom: Two were killed after the ransom payment of US$4,000 dollars; two more were killed after the ¢14 million ransom payment; and the fifth, who is Creighton, the owner of a sportsbook called 5Dimes, kidnapped last year, his family paying US$1 million of the US$5 million (in Bitcoin) ransom demand, he was never heard of again until his body was recently found in an unmarked cemetery grave.

The OIJ study had determined that in the last 5 years, a total of 139 people were linked to this crime. In the Creighton case 12 were arrested.

“Generally, the number of defendants is greater than that of the victims because sometimes criminal associations are made to commit these crimes, which sometimes can be quite large, for example, in 2018 in San José there was a kidnapping of a woman for 5 days, in which 21 Costa Ricans and 1 Oriental were charged,” said the report.