April 17, 2009 / 5:45 PM / 10 years ago

Indebted Spaniard kidnaps his banker

MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish builder with big debts kidnapped his bank manager at gunpoint and demanded a 50,000 euro (44,000 pound) loan plus his luxury car, police in the southern city of Malaga said on Friday.

“He needed money urgently, the company had stacked up large debts recently,” a spokeswoman said.

The builder accosted his bank manager in a car park near the bank in the Mediterranean resort of Marbella on Tuesday, and told him, falsely, that accomplices had taken his family hostage.

The builder then forced the executive to drive 20 km to Estepona, sign over his luxury car and transfer 1,500 euros to the builder’s bank account. The banker persuaded his kidnapper to let him call a colleague and told him, in code, that he had been kidnapped.

Police tracked them down to an office in the town and seized the kidnapper as they left the building. The builder was remanded in custody on Thursday, El Pais reported.

Several thousand Spanish builders are expected to go bust this year as the number and value of house sales collapse and banks become ever more reluctant to lend to house buyers.

Reporting by Ben Harding, editing by Tim Pearce

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