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Report: Colombian sought in kidnapping of Washington Nationals' Wilson Ramos

Washington Nationals' catcher Wilson Ramos is greeted by an unidentified friend at the Criminal Police ( CICPC ) headquarters in Valencia, Venezuela, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. Venezuelan police commandos rescued Ramos and arrested three of his abductors Friday, two days after he was kidnapped. (AP Photo/Lexander Loiza) Lexander Loaiza

Wilson Ramos was rescued from kidnappers on Saturday
AP Photo/Lexander Loiza

(CBS/AP) VALENCIA, Venezuela - Venezuelan authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a Columbian man with possible paramilitary links in the kidnapping of Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos last week, reports CNN.

Ramos, 24 was rescued in a gunbattle on Saturday.

Ramos was taken at gunpoint from his family's home Wednesday night and driven away in an SUV.  Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami said that the first break in the case came when investigators found the kidnappers' SUV, a bronze-colored Chevrolet, in the town of Bejuma alongside the mountains of central Carabobo state.

From there, said El Aissami, authorities checked a nearby house that they believed had been used in previous kidnappings and eventually determined the house was probably being used by the kidnappers as a support base while holding Ramos elsewhere, he said.

El Aissami said authorities took over the house and detained the couple who had been cooking for the abductors. President Hugo Chavez then personally authorized an aerial search mission and teams also set out on foot in the mountainous area, said El Aissami.

Joel Rengift, former chief of a Venezuelan police anti-kidnapping unit who is now an investigations adviser for Major League Baseball, said the search team was made up of about 200 police and National Guard troops as well as helicopters. They searched most of the day on Friday and finally came upon the remote house where Ramos was being held. He said there were about 30 people in the group that finally rescued Ramos on Saturday.

Ramos said that his final moments as a prisoner were hair-raising as police and the kidnappers exchanged heavy gunfire. He said his kidnappers had carefully planned the abduction and told him they were going to demand a large ransom.

"I didn't know if I was going to get out of it alive," Ramos told reporters at a police station in his hometown of Valencia. "It was very hard for me. It was very hard for my family."

El Aissami said authorities arrested four of the captors, all of them Venezuelan men in their 20s. A 60-year-old woman and a 74-year-old man were also arrested as accomplices for supplying the kidnappers with food from their home in the area, he said.

More on Crimesider
Nov. 11, 2011 - Major hunt launched in Washington Nationals' baseball player Wilson Ramos abduction caseNov. 10, 2011 - Washington Nationals' baseball player Wilson Ramos abducted by gunmen

  • Crimesider Staff

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