Israeli Businessman Abducted In Brazil Is Released

São Paulo

Moshe Benedek, a religious Israeli businessman who was abducted in Brazil on Thursday, was released on Friday afternoon after his family paid a ransom.

Benedek, a resident of the Yad Binyamin yishuv in central Israel, owns a number of jewelry and accessory stores in Brazil. He was kidnapped while in São Paulo, and held for ransom. He called his wife in Israel and she contacted the Foreign Ministry.

Fortunately, the kidnappers were unaware of the scope of Benedek’s business dealings and demanded a relatively low amount of money – about 10,000 Brazilian reais [$1,818]. As the family was considering whether to negotiate or not, the kidnappers began sending videos of them beating him so that the ransom would be paid quickly.

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The family, with the assistance of Israeli diplomats in São Paulo and Brazilian authorities, quickly transferred the money by sending it to an ATM machine nearby. Benedek withdrew the money, gave it to the kidnappers, and fled with the help of the Brazilian police, who had geolocated his location.

As the above events were taking place, HaRav Hillel Mertzbuch, the Rav of the Yad Binyamin shul, organized tefillos at the Kosel and shuls, with the participation of hundreds of people, and asked the yishuv residents to give tzedaka and take on maasim tovim.

Source: (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


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