Kidnapped Swiss man beaten in France

Basel police are collaborating with French authorities in a bid to track down three men who abducted, beat up and robbed a 33-year-old Swiss man.

He was hospitalized in Alsace, France for treatment of injuries after being attacked by the men on Monday morning, city police said.

The victim told police he encountered a man in the Rhylounge restaurant in Basel earlier that day whom he later recognized behind the wheel of a car parked on a street in the Kleinbasel part of the city, on the right bank of the River Rhine.

The motorist asked the victim for information on how to get to France.

The Swiss man gave directions before the driver offered to give him a lift to the train station.

When the victim got in the car he was hit on the head from behind and lost consciousness, police said.

He regained consciousness at an undisclosed location in the Alsace region, where he was “abused” on a dirt road by the driver and two other men before being robbed.

The culprits fled in an unknown direction, police said.

The victim was later found by passers-by and taken by ambulance to hospital.

He told police his attackers were North Africans who spoke French and Arabic.

The men, he said, were driving a blue or green Peugeot 206 or 306 with French licence plates and tinted rear windows.

The victim told police the driver of the car was 30 to 35 years old, about 175 centimetres tall, of medium build, athletic looking and weighing around 80 kilograms.

Casually dressed in jeans, sneakers, tee-shirt and jacket, he had a “well-groomed appearance” with short black hair and brown eyes.

The victim was unable to provide a description of the other two men.

Basel police said further investigations are being carried out in cooperation with French authorities.

Anyone with possible information about the crime is asked to contact Basel police on 061 267 71 11.

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Austrian triathlete freed by kidnapper after complimenting orchids

A young Austrian triathlete kidnapped while riding her bike talked her way to freedom by complimenting her captor's orchids, a police source said Saturday, confirming press reports.

Austrian triathlete freed by kidnapper after complimenting orchids
Photo: AFP

Professional triathlete Nathalie Birli, 27, was struck by a car Tuesday and broke her arm while falling to the ground near Graz in southeastern Austria, the press reports said.

The driver then knocked her out with a piece of wood and took her to his isolated home.

“When I regained consciousness, I was naked and tied up in an armchair in an old house,” Birli told the Kronen Zeitung newspaper.

The man forced her to drink alcohol and tried to suffocate her and drown her in a bathtub filled with cold water, Birli said.

However she managed to placate the man by complimenting him on the many orchids growing in his home.

Though he was initially “filled with hate,” the man suddenly became “nice to me” and confided that gardening was his passion before opening up about his troubled childhood, she said.





Einmal Glocknerkönigin (oder – Prinzessin ??) werden… #ziemlichnassesocken #aeroiseverything

A post shared by Nathalie Birli (@nathi_birli) on Jul 19, 2017 at 9:29am PDT

Nathalie Birli in an image posted on Instagram

Finally, he agreed to let her go and even took her home, along with her bicycle, which had a GPS system installed in it.

Police used the GPS record to track down the man and arrest him at his house, they said.

The police are now trying to determine if the 33-year-old man, who suffers from psychiatric problems, was involved in any previous kidnappings.