27 January 2009
Bandits have kidnapped two Dutch greenhouse constructors by tricking them into believing that they could visit three future locations for the realisation of a greenhouse project for vegetables in the French-speaking West African state of Togo.
Upon arrival at the airport of the capitol Lome on January 6, 2009 the two men, employees of the renowned Dutch greenhouse construction company Dalsem were invited to step in an old car. Once inside, the doors were locked after which the 46-year old and 65 year-old employeeswere driven to a house. They were tied up, threatened with a machete and forced to call their wives and ask for a ransom.
Three days later, the bandits released their hostages only after a ransom was paid. According to Dalsem’s spokesman, Marcel Boesenach both his colleagues are doing well and have already returned to their work.
The value of the ransom and the name of the ransom payer will be not disclosed. “We just don’t want to cause a media hype, but simply warn our colleague greenhouse constructors that these things can happen even if you have double checked your potential investors. Our employees have spent 30 days on this possible project before they actually were off to Togo. Even if Togo is a country lacking real horticultural tradition, it’s always worthwhile to look for new business possibilities. Otherwise, Dalsem would never have built greenhouses in Iran, the Bahamas or Pakistan,” Boesenach said.