Reemtsma Kidnapping Suspect Arrested in Spain
May. 27, 1996
MADRID, Spain (AP) _ Police arrested a man wanted in one of the biggest kidnappings in German history and hospitalized the suspect after he slashed his wrists, authorities said Monday.
Wolfgang Koszics was detained as he drove near the southeastern city of Murcia on Sunday, said Felix Alcaraz, spokesman for the Interior Ministry police.
Civil Guards pulled over Koszics' Audi because it was on a list of suspicious vehicles. Not knowing that Koszics was one of two men wanted in the March 25 kidnapping of German millionaire Jan Philipp Reemtsma, the paramilitary police took him back to his cheap hotel while they radioed headquarters for instructions.
Reemtsma was held for 33 days and released after his family paid $20 million, the highest ransom in German history.
When the Civil Guards learned Koszics was wanted for the kidnapping, they rushed up to his room, where they found him bleeding from his slashed wrists, said Felix Alcaraz, spokesman for the Interior Ministry police.
Koszics, 54, was taken to a hospital under police guard, Alcaraz said in a telephone interview from Murcia, 250 miles southeast of Madrid. Police found $157,400 and a mobile phone in his possession.
Although Koszics cut tendons in both wrists, he was not in danger of dying. He will undergo surgery Monday evening at the Morales Meseguer Hospital in Murcia, Alcaraz said.
As soon as Koszics has recovered from his injuries, the German fugitive will be questioned by police and then taken before a national court in Murcia, government authorities announced Monday evening.
Reemtsma, 43, was kidnapped in front of his villa in Hamburg and held in a house next to a golf course in Garlstedt, a well-to-do suburb of Bremen dotted with weekend homes. He was freed on April 30.
Koszics' arrest was first reported by the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper.
Also wanted in the kidnapping is Peter Richter, 58.
The Hamburg-based Reemtsma cigarette company is Germany's second-largest. Reemtsma sold his share of his family's tobacco business in 1980 and devoted himself to supporting literary and social causes.