Kidnappers Reduce Ransom Demand
Nov. 18, 1987
ESTEPONA, Spain (AP) _ A gang that kidnapped a Lebanese businessman's 5-year-old daughter more than a week ago has reduced the ransom demand to $5 million, news reports said Wednesday.
Four hooded gunmen snatched Melodie Nakachian on Nov. 9 from a car that was taking her to school in nearby Marbella on Spain's southern coast. They initially demanded that Raymond Nakachian and his wife Kimera, a South Korean singer, pay $13 million ransom by Tuesday.
Jaime Torrabadella, the family attorney, said the reduced demand ''has permitted certain progress in the negotiations,'' but still was ''an exorbitant sum. ... The kidnappers seem slightly more pragmatic, but still not reasonable.''
In Malaga, farther along the Costa del Sol, about 300 women marched in the downtown district Wednesday to demand the girl's release. They carried placards that said: ''Return Melodie to her parents.''
The daily newspaper ABC reported in Wednesday editions that an anonymous caller telephoned its Seville office Tuesday night and said the abductors were reducing the ransom to $5 million.
It quoted the male caller as saying: ''We know that their house alone is worth $8 million, so if they don't pay it's because they don't want to. ... This is the last call we're going to make.''
A Marbella radio station said Wednesday it had received a call from a man who claimed to speak for the kidnappers and indicated the time and place for the family to pay. The station did not give details.
Police asked reporters to respect a news blackout after the call to the station was reported.
Earlier Wednesday, the Malaga province civil governor's office said there were no new leads or developments.
The Madrid daily El Pais reported Wednesday that police suspect a gang of five men and one woman connected with the British underworld.
Melodie's father is an Armenian-Lebanese contractor and businessman.