One of Europe's most powerful industrialists -- Belgian Baron Edouard-Jean Empain, aged 40, was kidnapped outside his Paris home on Monday (23 January).
GV Apartment block in Avenue Foch, Paris (2 shots)
SV & GV Police activity around apartment block (3 shots)
GV Street scenes around Avenue Foch area (4 shots)
The last major kidnapping in France was in April 1977 when Signor Luchino Revelli-Baumont, head of the Fiat car company's French subsidiary, was seized outside his Paris home. He was released three months later, after his family paid a two million dollar ransom. Most of the money was recovered and eight Argentine nationals were arrested.
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Background: One of Europe's most powerful industrialists -- Belgian Baron Edouard-Jean Empain, aged 40, was kidnapped outside his Paris home on Monday (23 January).
SYNOPSIS: Baron Empain lives in the Avenue Foch. The kidnapping happened shortly after he left home in a chauffeur driven limousine. The car's path was blocked by a van and a motor-cycle, which, according to the French Interior Ministry, appeared to have had an accident. But as the Baron's car stopped hooded men jumped out of the van and aided by the motorcyclist overpowered the chauffeur, jumped into the limousine and drove off with their captive.
Although police combed the surrounding area, five hours after the kidnapping neither the authorities nor the Baron's family had been contacted by the kidnappers. The motive for the abduction was not immediately clear -- the Baron is a top member of the French employers' organisation and has been a frequent target for criticism by left-wing groups -- but he is also extremely rich. He is married with three children and heads a business conglomerate controlling more than 500 companies throughout the world.