Internal Security Forces chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi has unveiled that the Intelligence Bureau has so far arrested four people involved in the kidnapping of the seven Estonian tourists in the Bekaa Valley last week.
In remarks to An Nahar daily on Wednesday, Rifi said that the four men are suspected of providing the kidnappers with the van and a stolen Mercedes to carry out the abduction operation.
The four suspects “unveiled very important information in the investigation which would lead to the arrest of the culprits very soon,” Rifi said.
According to An Nahar, two of those arrested admitted to participating in the kidnapping and gave details on the operation that took place last Wednesday, shortly after the seven Estonians had crossed legally into Lebanon from Syria on bicycles.
The men were snatched in the industrial part of the city of Zahle.
The motive for their abduction was still not known. But a security source told the newspaper that the kidnapping was linked to Libya and the abductors were Lebanese and from different Arab nationalities.
A security official told Agence France Presse on Tuesday that "they act on their own but are also in the pay of others."
He identified the head of the gang as Darwish Khanjar, a Lebanese fugitive who heads a gang involved in criminal and smuggling activities.
“We are very close” at unveiling the fate of the Estonians, An Nahar’s source said after police and the army carried out raids in the Bekaa to arrest the kidnappers.
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