Five held in case of kidnapping and extortion to collect a debt from victim

Five men including a lawyer, were detained Thursday on allegations that they kidnapped a man to recover a debt.

The kidnapping happened in the first week in May, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. The man, a concert promoter, met the operator of an Heredia sportsbook in an Escazú hotel to arrange payment of the debt.

Instead, agents said that the man was taken to a home in San Pablo de Heredia. The kidnappers wanted $1.4 million, but the man went free May 7 in exchange for less.

Agents said that the man paid some cash via an electronic transfer and also agreed to make out a life insurance policy to benefit the kidnappers.

The leader of the group was identified by the last name of Seevers. Agents said it was he who operated the sportsbook in Heredia Centro. The lawyer, identified by the last name of Kahle, is accused of preparing the legal documents that the kidnapped man had to sign.

Another man, identified by the last name of Echandi, occupies the home where the man was held. A man with the last name of Barberena and a partner of Seevers, is accused to tricking the victim and taking him into captivity. A man named Masís is accused of holding the man for 27 hours.

The victim had to pay $15,000 and give his captors the passports of his daughters, said judicial agents.

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