The Chabad representative in Ecuador, Rabbi Tomer Rotem, was recently kidnapped and released after four days in captivity. The story was authorized for publication just this Saturday night.
He was kidnapped by unknown assailants several weeks ago. The reasons for his kidnapping were unclear, and he was released four days later just as suddenly.
Rabbi Rotem is well known to Israeli travelers in the South American country, and his Chabad House is usually very active. Last week, he disappeared suddenly, to the consternation of friends and relatives.
The next day a demand for ransom was received at the Chabad House. Rabbi Rotem's wife informed the police and top Chabad officials, as well as Israel's Foreign Ministry, which stressed that the matter was criminal, and not connected to terrorism.
Rabbi Rotem was released last Saturday night. Police had been able to track down the kidnappers and they were arrested, Chabad said in a statement. The incident was kept under wraps throughout the last week as police continued to search for members of the gang.