British torture victim returns to Scotland

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

A Scottish man who was allegedly kidnapped and tortured by a group of British men in a villa near Boliqueime is believed to have returned to Scotland after receiving treatment at a Lisbon hospital.

According to reports in the Scottish media, James Ross has left Portugal, however, a spokesman from Northern Constabulary was unable to confirm this to the Algarve Resident.

The man, who was found in Alfontes near Boliqueime on October 18 after being held in captivity for 13 days by four kidnappers, was attracted to the Algarve on October 5 by a member of the group, who he allegedly owed money to over drug dealings.

The four men involved in the crime were arrested after Ross’s wife contacted police in the UK about his disappearance and dealings with the group and an investigation began in Portugal (see Algarve Resident October 22 edition).

The 26-year-old man was supposedly tortured during the 13 days he was held in captivity and, according to a spokesman from Faro Hospital, an ear, a finger and a toe had been removed.

It is reported in the Portuguese press that forensic detectives found knives and traces of human blood and hair in the house used by the gang to torture James Ross and no efforts had apparently been made by the aggressors to clear the evidence.

The Algarve Resident contacted the Lisbon PJ police department regarding the investigation however were told that no information could be given on cases that are still undergoing an investigation.

Following recent reports in the international press that the region was used by criminals as hideouts and foreign mafias, Faro Civil Governor Isilda Gomes, speaking to Correio da Manhã newspaper, said that this had “never been mentioned at meetings with the region’s Security Coordination Office”.

“If this is true, then police have to work to prevent this type of crime,” she said.

The Algarve Resident tried to speak to Isilda Gomes but a spokesman from the Faro Civil Government said she was on holidays and no one was available to confirm the Civil Governor’s statement.

Algarve tourism chief Nuno Aires also said to CM that this had been the first time that he had heard about the possibility of the Algarve being used as a shelter to foreign mafias and criminals from other European countries. “The Algarve has a reputation of being a safe destination,” he said.

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