Light Wave


UK millionaire kidnapped by 15 men dressed as police in ecuador farm raid

By Jake Beardslee · December 21, 2023

In brief…

  • Wealthy British businessman Colin Armstrong kidnapped from his Ecuador farm by 15 fake cops
  • Police operation leads to 9 arrests, seizing of weapons and gear
  • Armstrong found safe 118 miles away 5 days after abduction
  • Armstrong owns large agriculture firm and estate in UK
A wealthy British businessman was kidnapped from his Ecuador farm by fake cops but found unharmed 5 days later following a major police investigation and raids on the gang behind it.  Kirk39/Wikimedia

Colin Armstrong, a 78-year-old British businessman living in Ecuador, was released this week after being kidnapped from his farm by 15 men dressed as police officers, reports Sky News, based on local reports. The men broke into Armstrong’s property on Dec. 16 and abducted him and his partner, Katherine Paola Santos.

After a 5-day search, Ecuador’s police chief Cesar Augusto Zapata Correa announced Wednesday morning that Armstrong had been found safe on a road in Manabí province, 118 miles from where they had lost track of the vehicle.

The Los Tiguerones gang is suspected to be behind the abduction, but officials have yet to confirm. As part of operation “Libertad 122,” Ecuadorian police arrested 9 suspects and searched 30 houses, seizing grenades, firearms, ammunition, detonators, phones, vehicles, police gear, and packages of unknown substances from properties affiliated with the gang, according to released photos.

Armstrong amassed his fortune as president of the Ecuadorian agriculture firm Agripac, which he founded in 1972, and owns a 500-acre estate in Yorkshire, England called Tupgill Park Estate. He was also made an honorary UK consul to Ecuador in 2016. After being freed this week, Ecuadorian police released a photo of Armstrong, safe and unharmed.