The Italian businessman who plotted his own kidnapping in Syria was arrested for REAL and detained for three years

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Italian businessman who plotted his own kidnapping in Syria, promising him ‘women, alcohol and drugs’ while in bogus imprisonment, was actually seized for REAL and detained for three years before being released and then charged with fraud in Italy

  • Businessman Alessandro Sandrini was told a gang would take him to a luxury villa
  • He thought the crew was planning to ransom millions from the Italian government
  • Mr. Sandrini was taken to Adana – in Turkey – but was sold to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham
  • He was released in May 2019 amid allegations that his government had paid for his ransom
  • Sergio Zanotti tried a similar trick, but was taken to Antioch in April 2016 and sold

An Italian businessman who orchestrated his own kidnapping in Syria was really snatched by jihadists and held for three years, according to an investigation.

34-year-old Alessandro Sandrini had been told that a gang would take him to a posh villa where he could enjoy ‘everything he needed’, including ‘women, alcohol and drugs’.

He believed the kidnappers were planning to ransom millions from the Italian government.

Mr Sandrini was transferred to Adana, Turkey, but was sold in October 2016 to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham – a Syrian terror group.

The jihadists sent a sickening photo of the businessman on his knees in orange overalls while two Islamists with guns stood behind him.

He was released almost three years later in May 2019 amid allegations that his government had paid the ransom.

Alessandro Sandrini (pictured) was told a gang would take him to a fancy villa where he could enjoy 'everything he needed' including 'women, alcohol and drugs'

Alessandro Sandrini (pictured) was told a gang would take him to a fancy villa where he could enjoy ‘everything he needed’ including ‘women, alcohol and drugs’

He believed the kidnappers were planning to ransom millions from the Italian government.  he is depicted just after his release

He believed the kidnappers were planning to ransom millions from the Italian government.  he is depicted just after his release

He believed the kidnappers were planning to ransom millions from the Italian government. he is depicted just after his release

Upon his release two years ago, Mr. Sandrini claimed he was on vacation in Turkey when he was snatched.

He said at the time, ‘I lost my way to the hotel and found myself walking the streets of Adana.

‘I felt someone put something on my face. I felt drugged and fell asleep. I woke up in a room where two people were armed and hooded. ‘

At the time of the kidnapping, Mr. Sandrini was facing an arrest warrant for dealing with stolen property and another for a burglary.

And he was charged this week with fraud and simulating a crime after an investigation into his disappearance was launched.

Upon his release two years ago (photo), Mr. Sandrini claimed he was on vacation in Turkey when he was snatched

Upon his release two years ago (photo), Mr. Sandrini claimed he was on vacation in Turkey when he was snatched

Upon his release two years ago (photo), Mr. Sandrini claimed he was on vacation in Turkey when he was snatched

Sergio Zanotti tried a similar trick when he was taken to Antioch in April 2016 – he was expecting money from an Iraqi black market currency trader.

But he was also sold to terrorists and detained until April 2019 when Italian intelligence negotiated his release – reportedly paying a ransom. He is under investigation in Italy.

Police said a third businessman was approached about making the trip to Turkey, but stopped at the last minute when he refused to board a plane.

The bizarre story emerged after the Italian anti-terrorism police and the Carabinieri launched an investigation into the kidnappings.

They arrested three alleged members of the kidnapping gang – Italian Alberto Zanini, 54, and Albanians Fredi Frrokaj, 43, and Olsi Mitraj, 41 – in Brescia, northern Italy.

Sergio Zanotti (pictured) tried a similar trick when he was taken to Antioch in April 2016 while awaiting money from an Iraqi black market currency trader

Sergio Zanotti (pictured) tried a similar trick when he was taken to Antioch in April 2016 while awaiting money from an Iraqi black market currency trader

Sergio Zanotti (pictured) tried a similar trick when he was taken to Antioch in April 2016 while awaiting money from an Iraqi black market currency trader

The three men – with Frrokaj as their leader – had collaborators in Turkey who carried out the kidnapping and handed the two Italians over to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

One of Mr. Sandrini’s ex-girlfriends was also part of his original plan to make money.

She told local media: “During the ride to the airport, he kept telling me to keep calm because when he got home we would have a lot of money that would come from the State Department as a ransom for his release.”

She added: “Before he left, he assured me that if I continued the charade with his family, the newspapers and the police, € 100,000 (£ 85,000) would be mine.”

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