Kidnapping is always been favorites of criminals because they play with emotions here. Kidnapping is one crime where family of kidnapped person gets really emotional and ready to pay any some. Most of the time kidnapper targets those families who have enough money to fulfill the demands. Most of the kidnapping done for money but then there are few kidnapping which was done to fulfill political goals. Kidnapping for ransom is not a new term; it is with human race around for a long time. Here we will provide you the list of 11 most expensive ransoms ever paid. Many a times kidnapping get failed and the plans by kidnappers backfired.
The last Incan emperor Atahualpa when captured by Francisco Pizarro in disastrous Battle of Cajamarca, h then offered to fill the room with gold and silver for the freedom. Pizarro accepted the offer and room measuring 22 feet long and 17 feet wide up to a height of 8 feet and covered with all gold and silver. To gather this huge amount of gold and silver, it took two months for the Incas. Nominal value of the ransom was 13,000 pounds of gold and 26,000 pounds of silver which is equal to 12 million USD at present.
King Richard I of England paid amount of 150,000 marks to the Duke Leopold V. in 1192, when King Richard I of England was returning from a crusading in the Middle East. For some unseen reason he had to take an overland route, which led him through lands of Duke Leopold V. he then captured the king and demanded ransom. It took two years to gather the money and finally King Richard was finally released in 1194. Nominal value of the ransom was 150,000 marks which is equal to 13.8 million USD at present.
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In the 1970s, to run the elections Argentinian Worker’s Revolutionary Party needed money. And being hardcore communist they took the cruel road of kidnapping people and ask for ransom, instead of fundraisers. In order to carry on with kidnapping they formed People’s Revolutionary Army (ERP), party’s armed wing. They kidnapped John R. Thompson, head of local Firestone branch in 1973. The company paid ransom in the amount of $3 million which is equal to 14.5 million USD at present.
In 1973, John Paul Getty III, a grandson of Jean Paul Getty was kidnapped. The Getty family was a baron and the richest American at the time. The kidnapping was done by the members of ‘Ndrangheta (criminal organization from Italy’s region of Calabria). After a long negotiation that also involved cutting off of the victim’s ear and mailing it to the family. Kidnapper asked for $3 million and grandpa agreed to pay $2.2 million. Nominal value of the ransom was$3 million which is equal to 16.3 USD at present.
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Montonerros was another Argentinian leftist organization that took the wrong way to raise money and that didn’t have any doubts about financing their struggle with ransom money. Enrique Metz, a Mercedes-Benz executive was kidnapped in the year 1975. To get his life and freedom, Metz’s employers cashed out $5 million. Nominal value of the ransom was $5 million which is equal to 22.2 million USD. It was one of the highest ransoms ever paid.
Patty Hearst was on number six on the list for being the expensive ransoms. Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974 kidnapped rich heiress. To release her SLA demanded that her father distributes $70 million worth of food to every poor family in California. Finally the both the parties settled on $6 million in food, although SLA later claimed that the food was of a very poor quality. Nominal value of the ransom was $6 million which is equal to 29 million USD.
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Value in 2015 USD: 57.8 million get kidnapped twice in the time span of just over two years. One can blame lenient security or extremely bad luck. The first ransom paid was $2.5 million. Right after his release he again kidnapped when he was driving home with his daughters and bodyguards. The second time ransom was $10 million. ERP, People’s Revolutionary Army kidnapped him both the times.
Victor Samuelson was a refinery manager for Esso Argentina, a subsidiary of Exxon was another victim of ERP, People’s Revolutionary Army. He was kidnapped in 1974 and the company paid out $14.2 million for his freedom. Nominal value of the ransom was $14.2 million which is equal to 68.4 million USD in 2015. It was one of the highest amounts paid as ransom in the history.
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In the 1990s, Hong Kong was in terror because of Big Spender. This delightful criminal executed several high profile crimes. He has done all kind of criminal activities that includes robbing an armored van and a raid on Kai Tak Airport. Walter Kwok was one of the wealthiest Hong Kong tycoons and was kidnapped by Cheung Tze-keung, AKA Big Spender. Big Spender collected $77 million in ransom which is equal to114.5 million USD IN 2015.
The most well-known and lucrative kidnapping in the history was Victor Li, which was victim of Big Spender. Victor Li, the heir to the richest Hong Kong businessman was kept in a wooden box till the time his father agreed to pay $133 million dollars to Cheung Tze-keung. Big Spender was caught later and in 1998 in China on his trial, he was sentenced to death and shot on December 5th, 1998. Nominal value of the ransom was$133 million which is equal to 203.8 million USD in 2015.
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The highest amount of ransom paid in the history ever was $60 million in the year 1974. Most expensive ransoms ever paid goes to brothers Born, Jorge and Juan, who kidnapped Montonerros snatched, killing the driver in the process. They asked for the unprecedented sum of $60 million dollars that is equal to more than $290 million today.