Briton kidnapped and tortured in Portugal over 'unpaid debts'

A British man had an ear, two fingers and three toes cut off after being kidnapped in Portugal and tortured for 13 days over an alleged debt.

James Ross, from Wick in the Scottish Highlands, was allegedly kept captive in a cage after being lured to the Algarve on 5 October. Reports in Portugal suggested that the 26-year-old owed his captors £10,000 and had been told he could pay it off by working for them. But he was kidnapped upon arrival at Faro airport.

According to one local newspaper, Correio da Manha, Mr Ross escaped from his prison – hidden in a villa in the village of Boliqueime, near the town of Loule – on Monday, and was found bleeding in the street by a local man, Carlos Pereira.

Mr Pereira told the newspaper: "He came staggering towards me asking me to stop, waving his arms in the air. He had no left ear and was missing two fingers on his left hand, one toe from one foot and two from the other. He also had a leg wound."

Mr Ross is said to have told Mr Pereira he had been involved in a road accident. Mr Pereira said: "He was very white. He said 'Please, please, telephone'. I decided to put him in my van and drove him to a square, near a cafe, and called the police."

Four other Britons have been arrested in connection with the allegations and will appear in court in Portugal. The men are said to have been arrested over the weekend.

Initially police believed that Mr Ross had been murdered, and they were searching for his body in a dam when he was discovered alive. He is now in hospital in Portugal, under armed guard, according to the local media.

Northern Constabulary, which polices the Highlands, confirmed that it had launched an investigation on 15 October after Mr Ross was reported missing by a member of his family – believed to be his wife Donna.

Correio da Manha said Mrs Ross was telephoned by her husband's captors and told he would be killed if she contacted the police. The force enlisted the help of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and the Portuguese Policia Judicaria.

A spokesman for the Northern Constabulary said: "Following a report of a high-risk missing person made to police at Wick over the disappearance of a 26-year-old local man who had travelled to Portugal, Northern Constabulary instigated a joint operation with the Policia Judicaria and the assistance of the UK Soca.

"This operation culminated in the arrest of four UK nationals on serious criminal charges in Portugal where court appearances are expected. Investigations are continuing in tandem with the Portuguese authorities. The man has been recovered safely by officers in Portugal."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We can confirm the hospitalisation of a British national on 18 October in Faro, Portugal. We stand ready to provide consular assistance."

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
football

Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
tech

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'

News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album