The kidnapping operation is said to have been carried out with military precision.
PRETORIA, May 19 (ANA) – An 8-year-old girl who was kidnapped in France has been found with her mother in Switzerland, the BBC reported on Monday.
The British broadcaster said the girl was kidnapped last week Tuesday and was found almost a week later in an old abandoned factory building in the border village of Sainte-Croix.
She was in good health and her mother was taken into Swiss police custody.
The Deutsche Welle (DW) reported that she was kidnapped from her grandmother’s house in a French village close to the border with Switzerland.
The German broadcaster said police believe the mother may have played a role in the kidnapping.
Five people linked to the kidnapping, aged 23 to 60, were arrested in France over the past week.
DW cited prosecutor Francois Perain describing the kidnapping as a military operation that even had a code name: “Operation Lima”.
However, no violence was used during the kidnapping.
He said that the kidnappers had walkie-talkies, camping gear, fake licence plates, and a budget of US$3,592 to cover expenses.
“Three men created fake IDs to pose as child welfare officials, convincing Mia’s maternal grandmother to hand her over,’’ the broadcaster said in its report.
AFP said the kidnappers were not known to police but were described as part of the same “community of ideas”.
“They are against the state and mobilised against what they call a health dictatorship… For them, children in care are unfairly taken from their parents,” Perain was quoted as saying.
The French news agency said after the kidnapping, three of the men and the mother walked over the French-Swiss border, taking turns with the child.
A getaway car was arranged and it drove the mother and child to a Swiss hotel.
“They then spent a night with a woman who was a sympathiser of the movement before arriving in Sainte-Croix,” the agency added.
– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher
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