A Frenchman working for a Swiss money transport firm has handed over tens of millions of francs to criminals in a car park in canton Vaud, after the group had kidnapped his daughter in France. The criminals then released the daughter unharmed.
The young woman was found on Thursday evening on a road some 20 kilometres from the French city of Lyon, where she is a student. She told French police investigators she had been kidnapped from her Lyon apartment earlier in the evening by men pretending to be plumbers, according to a source close to the investigation, cited by French news agency AFP.
The victim, 22, told police she had been shut into the criminals’ vehicle. A police source told AFP that “people claiming to be in touch with the kidnappers” meanwhile telephoned her father and demanded a ransom.
The father, who lives in Annemasse near the Swiss border and works for a Swiss money transport company, was at that time driving a van full of cash, according to French radio station Europe 1, which broke the story.
The father agreed to meet the criminals in a car park in the Swiss canton of Vaud, where he handed over the contents of the van, according to initial investigations. A police source said the loot was thought to be CHF20 million-CHF30 million ($21.3 million-$32 million). Another source confirmed to AFP that the van’s entire contents had disappeared.
French police said on Friday they were still questioning the young woman but had no reason to disbelieve her. They said there was still much to clarify and that the investigation would take time. No arrests have been made either in France or Switzerland.
Vaud police later confirmed the incident, saying the money was handed over at a car park in Chavornay. They say the criminals numbered at least three men of medium build all dressed in black with hoods and gloves.