Kidnappers return ‘Screw King’ billionaire’s son

Police recovered the son of billionaire Reinhold Würth unharmed on Thursday after he was kidnapped the day before, launching a manhunt for those behind the crime.

Kidnappers return 'Screw King' billionaire's son
Photo: DPA

50 year-old Markus Würth has been reunited with his family after being kidnapped and held overnight on Wednesday.

Police had asked media to observe a blackout after they found out about the kidnapping.

Markus was taken from a home for people with mental disorders in Schlitz, northeast of Frankfurt. Bild reported that the kidnappers demanded a sum over €2m for his return.

His father is a well known businessman, who took over his father’s wholesale screw business when he was 19.

The Würth company is worth billions, with annual profits of around €10bn.

The Würth family called police to report Markus missing when he didn’t show up for lunch.

Police then began an intensive search involving 40 police officers, 50 firefighters and sniffer dogs.

Bild reported that the perpetrators tied him to a tree before revealing his location in GPS coordinates and disappearing on Thursday. Police believe the kidnappers may have lost their nerve, as the family had not paid them any money as a ransom.

Markus was found nearly 100km from where he was snatched. Once he was safe, the media blackout was lifted to aid in the manhunt for the perpetrators.

Police have appealed for witnesses and are searching for the van used during the kidnapping.

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Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

The chairwoman of the Police Association West Region has said that police special tactics, known as Särskild polistaktik or SPT, should be available across Sweden, to use in demonstrations similar to those during the Easter weekend.

Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

SPT, (Särskild polistaktik), is a tactic where the police work with communication rather than physical measures to reduce the risk of conflicts during events like demonstrations.

Tactics include knowledge about how social movements function and how crowds act, as well as understanding how individuals and groups act in a given situation. Police may attempt to engage in collaboration and trust building, which they are specially trained to do.

Katharina von Sydow, chairwoman of the Police Association West Region, told Swedish Radio P4 West that the concept should exist throughout the country.

“We have nothing to defend ourselves within 10 to 15 metres. We need tools to stop this type of violent riot without doing too much damage,” she said.

SPT is used in the West region, the South region and in Stockholm, which doesn’t cover all the places where the Easter weekend riots took place.

In the wake of the riots, police unions and the police’s chief safety representative had a meeting with the National Police Chief, Anders Tornberg, and demanded an evaluation of the police’s work. Katharina von Sydow now hopes that the tactics will be introduced everywhere.

“This concept must exist throughout the country”, she said.

During the Easter weekend around 200 people were involved in riots after a planned demonstration by anti-Muslim Danish politician Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), that included the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Police revealed on Friday that at least 104 officers were injured in counter-demonstrations that they say were hijacked by criminal gangs intent on targeting the police. 

Forty people were arrested and police are continuing to investigate the violent riots for which they admitted they were unprepared. 

Paludan’s application for another demonstration this weekend was rejected by police.

In Norway on Saturday, police used tear gas against several people during a Koran-burning demonstration after hundreds of counter-demonstrators clashed with police in the town of Sandefjord.