Who is Colin Armstrong? The British Millionaire Kidnapped Last Week Rescued, Ecuador Police Link It To Mexican Drug Cartels

Armstron was kidnapped by unknown assailants previous week

After the kidnapping incident in Ecuador sent a shockwave when a UK millionaire was abducted in the early hours of Saturday from a farm he owned near the city of Guayaquil by unknown assailants, Colin Armstrong, a 78-year-old British businessman and OBE awardee, was rescued from the clutches of armed guerillas in Ecuador after being held captive for four days.

The daring rescue operation unfolded on Wednesday, bringing relief to Armstrong and his Colombian partner.

Colin Armstrong Rescued

Who is Colin Armstrong?

Colin Armstrong, the founder of Agripac, a leading agricultural products company in Ecuador in 1972, and the owner of the expansive Tupgill Park estate in the Yorkshire Dales, became the target of a kidnapping incident. This incident occurred at his ranch in Ecuador's Los Rios province, where he and his wife were seized by unidentified assailants.

A group of approximately 15 men, disguised as police officers, entered the property and took him away. Simultaneously, reports indicated that a Colombian woman named Katherine Paola Santos, believed to be Mr. Armstrong's partner, was also abducted. The Ecuadorean police, communicating through X (formerly Twitter), stated that officers were engaged in "operational and investigative work" related to the case.

Colin Armstrong, who received the OBE and Companions of the Order of St Michael and St George in 2011 for his services to the British Monarchy, held the position of former UK honorary consul to Guayaquil. In this voluntary role, he supported British interests and provided assistance to British nationals facing difficulties in Ecuador's largest city.

How Was He Rescued?

The Ecuadorian authorities, led by General César Zapata, orchestrated a successful operation that resulted in the release of Mr. Armstrong. The rescue mission, carried out with precision, led to the apprehension of nine individuals involved in the kidnapping. General Zapata assured the public of Mr. Armstrong's safety, while Interior Minister Monica Palencia emphasized that investigations into the crime were ongoing.

Smiling and Sporting a Baseball Cap: A recent image of Colin Armstrong, released after his rescue, captures him in good spirits, wearing a baseball cap—a stark contrast to the distress he endured during his captivity. The photograph, taken with the police, reflects the success of the rescue mission and the relief felt by Armstrong and his well-wishers.

A spokesperson for Forbidden Corner, a Yorkshire Dales tourist attraction owned by Mr. Armstrong, conveyed their joy at his safe release. Colin Armstrong is currently with the police for interviews and is expected to reunite with his family in Ecuador soon. The UK family, staff, and friends of Mr. Armstrong express their delight and eagerly anticipate a happier Christmas.

Britain's ambassador in Ecuador, Chris Campbell, conveyed gratitude to the Ecuadorian police for their swift and successful rescue mission, ensuring the safe return of Colin Armstrong OBE.

The prevalence of kidnappings for ransom and robberies has become widespread in various parts of Ecuador, including Guayaquil and its outskirts. The surge in crime is largely attributed to the involvement of local gangs collaborating with rival Mexican drug cartels, contributing to an environment of heightened violence.