Mystery over missing millions as notorious German kidnapper identified as falling to his death from Algarve cliff

German tabloid Bild-Zeitung has revealed that police have been keeping the body of a notorious German kidnapper known as “Fat Faruk” in the fridge of a Portuguese morgue as they try to unravel the mystery which found him dead at the bottom of a cliff in the Algarve exactly a year ago.

72-year-old Wolfgang Koszics is understood to have fallen to his death in February last year.

For now, no news source appears to be naming the beach where he fell – if indeed the fall was ever reported.

Police in Portugal and Germany have been keeping a lid on the affair as there are at least €15 million still “unaccounted for”.

Koszics was a leading member of the team that pulled off a kidnapping in 1996 that successfully scooped the biggest ransom payment ever made in Germany.

He was eventually run to ground in Murcia, Spain – and served jail time, along with another member of the gang. But, according to press reports, only a fraction of the millions paid in ransom was ever found – and two gang members remain free and unpunished to this day.

Thus, the inference is that Koszics’ body and the movements that led to his mysterious death may hold vital clues.

For now, a second autopsy is to be performed by leading forensic pathologist Klaus Püschel.

RTP news reports that German police are on their way from Hamburg to Portugal, very possibly to remove Koszics’ body from the morgue in which it has been kept under wraps.

So far unexplained is why police here took three months to inform German counterparts that they had the body in a mortuary refrigerator.

Revealing details of the initial autopsy, RTP claims that “high levels of alcohol” were found in Koszics’ body.

Elsewhere, Germany’s NDR news channel reports that shortly after his imprisonment, Koszics attempted to take his own life.

Could it be that the cliff fall in 2014 was an intentional suicide, or could it have something to do with the two members of the kidnap gang that, to date, have never been found?

That is the question on German investigators’ minds as they now try to crack the 20-year-old mystery.

Meantime, wealthy political activist Jan Philipp Reemtsma – whose family paid the equivalent in German marks and Swiss francs of €15,300 million for his release – has written a book about his 33-day kidnap ordeal that has been translated into English (In the Cellar) and French (Dans la Cave).


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