Police Detain Taxi Driver Accused of Kidnapping Minor

Police on Friday detained a taxi driver in the Krasnoyarsk region on suspicion of kidnapping a boy and demanding a ransom of 600,000 rubles ($18,600) for his return, the regional police department said.

The driver, 28, had the three-year-old boy in his car when he was apprehended in the town of Achinsk on Friday morning about 180 kilometers west of Krasnoyarsk. The boy, who has been returned to his mother, appeared not to have been harmed, the police department's spokesman said.

It turned out that the mother, 21, knew the taxi driver, and called him on Thursday and asked him to take her son to the kindergarten. However, the driver used the taxi ride as a pretext to abduct the boy, Interfax reported.

The kindergarten's staff informed the mother about her son's absence and at 11 a.m. she received an SMS with the ransom demand. The suspected kidnapper threatened to harm the boy if he didn't get the money and sent the mother a picture of her son with no clothes on, the spokesman said.

But the man was later captured following a large-scale police search operation.

A criminal investigation has been opened on charges of kidnapping a minor.

The taxi driver faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted.

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