The OAP mob: Gang of geriatrics charged with kidnapping and torturing financial advisor after losing fortunes in recession

A gang of pensioners alleged to have kidnapped and tortured their financial adviser when they lost nearly £2million in the global crisis were charged by police yesterday. American-born James Amburn, 56, was ambushed outside his home in Speyer, western Germany, based over the head with a zimmer frame, bound with masking tape and bundled into a car boot. ‘It took them quite a while because they ran out of breath,’…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk
December 9, 2009

The OAP mob: Gang of geriatrics charged with kidnapping and torturing financial advisor after losing fortunes in recession
Alan Hall

OAPMob.jpg

Suspects: Roland Koenig 74, seen here with his 79-year-old wife Sieglinde, is accused of kidnapping James Amburn

A gang of pensioners alleged to have kidnapped and tortured their financial adviser when they lost nearly £2million in the global crisis were charged by police yesterday.

American-born James Amburn, 56, was ambushed outside his home in Speyer, western Germany, based over the head with a zimmer frame, bound with masking tape and bundled into a car boot.

‘It took them quite a while because they ran out of breath,’ said Mr Amburn, who was allegedly driven to the Bavarian lakeside home of one of the gang who lost close to £2million.

Suspects: Roland K. 74, seen here with his 79-year-old wife is accused of kidnapping James Amburn

Mr Amburn is said to have then been driven by Roland Koenig, 74 and Willy Dehmer, 60, to Bavaria and put in Koenig's cellar. Gerhard and Iris Fell, aged 63 and 66, arrived to assist the kidnappers, who also included Koenig's wife Sieglinde, 79, it is alleged.

Mr Amburn was chained and tortured for four days.

He was rescued when he sent a fax to release funds from a Swiss bank and scribbled a message on it for the receiver to 'call police'.

‘The fear of death was indescribable,’ he said.

Police in Germany said that the gang - popularly known as the 'OAP Mob' - had received fan letters since the alleged kidnapping.

They are alleged to be among five pensioners who said they lost their 'nest eggs' through his investment firm Digitalglobalnet.

During his confinement in the unheated cellar, Mr Amburn claims he was burned with cigarettes, beaten, had two of his ribs broken when he was hit with a chair leg and chained up 'like an animal.'

He says he was fed only two bowls of watery soup during his four days in the dungeon.

'I was led into the cellar,' recalled Mr Amburn, 'And I saw a folding bed and a WC reserved for me. They immediately went on about their money.

'I told them what I had told them before, that due to market conditions, unfortunately it was gone.

'I was struck. Again and again they threatened to kill me. The fear of death was indescribable. I never thought I would make it out alive.

'I tried to buy time, to ease the situation, but I didn’t know if night was day or day night.

'I told them that if I sold certain securities in Switzerland they could get their money and for this I had to send a fax to a bank in that country so funds could be transferred.'

They reportedly agreed and he sent a fax. But unbeknown to them, he had scribbled a message on the bottom of the paper for whoever received it to call the police

"It was disguised as a policy which is spelled police in German,' he said.

"I wrote 'call police' and they didn’t notice it but someone at the bank was bright enough to pick up on it.'

Allowed out of the cellar for a cigarette break in the garden while the alleged kidnappers waited on their loot, Mr Amburn attempted to escape over the wall.

In the pouring rain he ran down the street pursued by his captors in the Audi A8 they had allegedly used to transport him to the house.

Several people saw him but Koening reportedly shouted: 'He’s a burglar!'.

He was then dragged back to the cellar where he sustained the broken ribs as a 'punishment' for trying to escape, he claimed.

Shortly afterwards, the Swiss bank telephoned police in Germany and an armed team of special SEK commandos was scrambled and the house was stormed.

A physician had to be on hand to help the captors into police vans because of their various infirmities.

They face a minimum of five years in jail each for illegal hostage taking and grievous bodily harm if found guilty when their trial begins in the new year.

Chief public prosecutor Volker Ziegler said: 'They were angry because they invested money in properties in Florida and Kuwaiti funds and he lost it all.

'This was black money - they hadn’t declared it to the revenue authorities in Germany.'

Mr Amburn, who needed hospital treatment for his injuries before being allowed home, added: 'They threatened me with the Russian mafia too. I am not sure I feel all that safe even though they are behind bars.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1234176/The-OAP-mob-Gang-geriatrics-accused-kidnapping-torturing-financial-advisor-losing-fortunes-recession.html


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