Colin Armstrong, a previously stationed British consul and businessman, abducted from his residence in Ecuador

A police report indicates that a British businessman and former UK honorary consulate in Guayaquil, Colin Armstrong, was abducted by masked individuals at his residence in Los Rios province, Ecuador. According to the report, Armstrong, aged 78, was taken along with his Colombian companion, Katherine Paola Santos, from their home in Baba. The abductors subsequently drove away in Armstrong’s personal black BMW, which was later discovered abandoned.

Ecuador has experienced a surge in violent crime over the past five years, primarily due to drug trafficking gangs. The country, previously known as one of the safest in Latin America, has now become the most dangerous, as revealed in a 2022 Gallup poll.

Formerly a peaceful nation compared to its cocaine-producing neighbors, Colombia and Peru, Ecuador has transformed into a central hub for foreign cartels and local drug gangs. These criminal groups exert control over prisons, often resulting in deadly consequences, and have expanded their activities to include kidnappings and extortion.

The Ecuadorian police announced on X, through a tweet, that specialized units are conducting operational and investigative work on the ground following the apparent criminal act against the businessman in the early hours of the morning in Los Rios.

Colin Armstrong, who founded and owns Agripac, a prominent agricultural products company in Ecuador, served as honorary consul until 2016 when his son Nicolas assumed the role. Armstrong also possesses Tupgill Park Estate in North Yorkshire, which spans 500 acres (202 hectares) and serves as his childhood home. Notably, he was honored with an OBE and CMG in 2011.

A video circulating on social media purportedly shows the location of Armstrong’s abduction, displaying blood-stained sheets on a bed and ransacked rooms.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s spokesperson stated that they are liaising with Ecuadorian authorities to support the family of the missing British citizen.

President Daniel Noboa, who assumed office at the end of November, has pledged to crackdown on drug gangs and organized crime. As the son of a prominent banana magnate and a native of Guayaquil, he is committed to taking control of the port city responsible for exporting cocaine to the US, Europe, and Asia. His election campaign was tarnished by violence, resulting in the deaths of eight politicians, including presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, a renowned anti-corruption activist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *