A GANG of bogus kidnappers have been arrested after it emerged that the man they had allegedly grabbed was actually in hospital.
Police have revealed that the victim had gone to casualty in Alicante Hospital with injuries at the end of April and was found to have had contracted COVID-19.
When the gang heard he was in isolation without a phone they took advantage of him not being able to contact relatives, or his parents, to claim they had kidnapped him.
They demanded €1,500 in cash to free him unharmed – even though he was tucked up in a hospital bed all along.
To make their demands more realistic, they shot videos wielding large knives.
Grainy images of a young man being threatened were in reality one of the ‘kidnappers’ posing.
But instead of handing over cash, one of his relatives went to police in Torrelavega (Cantabria) to report an abduction.
An investigation quickly found the man was actually in hospital.
Analysis of messages sent to the man’s family led officers to three men, one woman and a teenage boy, all Spanish, based in Alicante.