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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Detain 2 Suspects in Kidnapping of Uzbek

Police said Wednesday they had detained two suspects on suspicion of kidnapping an Uzbek official and demanding a ransom of $2,500.

The abduction was foiled when the Uzbek official, whom police identified as Barak Khadirov, 44, the head of the Uzbek presidential property department, fled his captors after being held for less than 24 hours.

The two suspects were detained Monday in the VIP hall at Vnukovo Airport, the police said.

One of the suspects is a Moscow resident and the other is from Tula. Police said a criminal investigation has been opened.

According to police, Khadirov was abducted in downtown Moscow on March 12 when two unknown assailants ordered him into their car, saying he owed $2,500 to their friend.

Khadirov told police that he was taken to the basement of a fitness center in the village of Zarechye outside Moscow and then moved to a garage. During the night, Khadirov managed to escape and flee his captors.

The press office of the Uzbek Embassy in Moscow denied Wednesday that Khadirov was the head of the Uzbek presidential property department.

However, a spokesman said the embassy was trying to find out whether Khadirov was connected to the Uzbek government.

(MT, AP)