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Millionaire British businessman kidnapped by gunmen in Ecuador as police question his girlfriend
19 December 2023, 13:10
Police are questioning the girlfriend of a kidnapped British businessman who was snatched away from his home in Ecuador by a group of gunmen.
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Colin Armstrong, 78, was dragged from his home on Saturday morning and taken captive.
Mr Armstrong, who was the honorary British consul in the city of Guayaquil, was taken from his home in the town of Baba along with Katherine Paola Santos - his girlfriend.
She was later released and is being questioned over the kidnapping.
Ecuador’s national police said in a Tweet on Saturday: “Following an apparent criminal act against a businessman in the early hours of this morning in Los Rios, specialist police units are carrying out operative and investigative work on the ground.”
Mr Armstrong, 78, is the founder and owner of an agricultural company, Agripac, and owner of the Tupgill Park Estate in North Yorkshire.
A video posted on social media purports to show the house where Mr Armstrong was kidnapped with blood-stained sheets and ransacked rooms.
One local report said a group of up to 15 kidnappers had disguised themselves as police to carry out the raid on his home.
The Foreign Office confirmed it was in contact with the Ecuadorean authorities "following the disappearance of a British man".
The Ecuadoran Foreign Ministry has not yet commented.
Mr Armstrong was awarded the OBE and Companions of the Order of St Michael and St George for services to the British Monarchy in 2011.
Colin’s daughter Diana Armstrong-Bruns, an estate agent based in California told MailOnline: “This is a critical time, we’ve been told not to say anything to anyone. We just want my father back.”
The kidnap is understood to have happened around 2.45am local time on Saturday morning at Mr Armstrong's ranch Rancho Rodeo Grande.