Four policemen arrested in Honduras over kidnapping

Four policemen arrested in Honduras over kidnapping

TEGUCIGALPA, Feb 12, 2015 (AFP) - Four members of a new police unit in Honduras assigned to combat organised crime were caught Wednesday trying to kidnap a businessman, an official said.

A young man called a police emergency number saying military personnel had abducted his father, and minutes later the car in which he was being transported was stopped, said Leonel Sauceda, a spokesman for the National Police.

The alleged culprits belong to the Military Police, a unit created by President Juan Orlando Hernandez in 2013.

The attempted abduction happened in Tegucigalpa, capital of the poor, crime-plagued Central American country.

The kidnappers were seeking the equivalent of nearly $6,000 for the release of the businessman, Sauceda said.

The new police unit, the Military Police, was created in 2013 by Hernandez when he was speaker of congress.

It has 3,000 members, with plans to expand to 5,000. Its main goal is to fight organised crime. Honduras has one of the world's highest murder rates.

In January the president sought to make the police unit a permanent fixture with a change to the constitution. But he failed to get enough votes in the legislature.

Since then he has been seeking votes for a plebiscite on making the Military Police a permanent component of the Honduran security forces.

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