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Police Seek Two in Cigarette Millionaire’s Kidnapping

May 24, 1996

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) _ Police investigating the April kidnapping of a tobacco millionaire issued arrest warrants Friday for two suspects.

Police also said they have located the house in northern Germany where Jan Philipp Reemtsma was held in a cellar for 33 days. He was freed April 30 after his family paid $20 million, the highest ransom in German history.

Police identified the suspects as Peter Richter, 58, and Wolfgang Koszics, 54, both Germans, Hamburg police official Dieter Langendoerfer told a news conference.

Reemtsma, 43, was held in a whitewashed, thatched-roof house next to a golf course in Garlstedt, a well-to-do suburb of Bremen dotted with weekend homes, police said. Neighbors told reporters the owners often rented out the house.

Reemtsma, who sold his share of his family’s tobacco business in 1980 and devoted himself to literary and social causes, was kidnapped March 25 in front of his villa in Hamburg.

The Reemtsma cigarette company is Germany’s second-largest.

Earlier Friday, police in Duesseldorf said they released a 52-year-old man for lack of evidence after questioning him in the case.

Update hourly