Missing Italian 'held by Syrian kidnappers'

Alessandro Sandrini. Photo from Facebook

BRESCIA - Italian-born Alessandro Sandrini has been missing in Turkey for over a year and is now being held by kidnappers in Syria, according to his worried mother. Mrs. Sandrini has described her ordeal in an interview with the Giornale di Brescia. An investigation has been launched into his disappearance, a coordinated effort by the Brescia Mobile Squad working with Turkish authorities. Sandrini is the second of two Brescians to disappear in the same area, following Sergio Zanotti who went missing 20 months ago close to the Syrian border.

 Sandrini, 32 years-old, was working on redundancy contracts at his company in Brescia when he took a week-long trip to Turkey on Oct. 3 2016. According to his mother, he called home on Oct. 4 to say that he feared for his life the day after arriving in a hotel in Adana, 180 kilometers from the Syrian city of Aleppo.

 His mother heard nothing until Oct. 18 when he called saying “I do not know where I am, they kidnapped me. Help me.” In a later call, he warns that “these [men] are not joking” and that “they want to kill me.” His mother has reported that Sandrini believed his kidnappers would not let him leave alive unless a ransom was paid.

 Sandrini’s mother has been working with authorities to discover where her son might be and has filed two complaints in the police station. It is suspected that he is being held by a criminal group operating on the border between Turkey and Syria, and is being held in the latter country.