Over the years, I’ve heard stories of illegal immigrants having family members kidnapped, or held in safe (?) houses until they pay up. Sometimes the kidnapping occurs in Mexico — where kidnappings are common — and the illegal aliens are compelled to wire money for the release of their loved one(s).

Dane Schiller of the Houston Chronicle recently wrote a interesting article about this with a slightly different twist. In this article, the alleged victim fakes the kidnapping and attempts to collect the money, herself.

From Dane’s article:

A chilling voice mail came over Delfino Ramirez Diaz’s cell phone: His pregnant and sobbing girlfriend told Ramirez she’d been snatched by kidnappers and only a ransom of $10,000 would stop them from inducing labor and selling their twins on the black market.

“Help me, my love! Help me!” Maria Isabel Puente said in Spanish. “They said they are going to give me an herb to remove my babies,” she continued. “I love you so much. Whatever happens, I love you so much.”

The incident, which police said played out quietly in Houston last week, turned out to be a scam.

The article quotes a retired FBI agent, who is now the mayor of a town in Texas as saying:

Retired FBI agent Raul Salinas, who taught anti-kidnapping courses to Mexican police and is now mayor of the border city of Laredo, said kidnapping scams are so common in Mexico that there is a term for them — autosecuestro — which basically translates as “self-kidnapping.”

“I handled a couple in Mexico City — they would claim they were kidnapped and they were just trying to extort their families,” Salinas said.

Going back to the alleged kidnapping in the article found the so-called victim in an apartment and arrested her.

Interesting article from the Houston Chronicle, here.

When I first started writing this post, I referenced I few personal instances of hearing about illegal immigrants being kidnapped, or having family members held for ransom. I decided to run a Google search, “illegal immigrants kidnapping,” and a lot of references to this subject. If you would like to see for yourself, the search results are here.

Since illegal immigrants are generally fearful of reporting things to the authorities, it makes me wonder how much of this might be going on?

No matter what side of the immigration debate you are on (one thing is for certain) a lot of criminal activity is hidden within this growing issue.

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