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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Kongsvinger kidnapping suspect back in Norway

A man accused of kidnapping his own two daughters as they got off a school bus near Kongsvinger earlier this year has returned to Norway and reported to police, arguing that he did nothing illegal. He confirmed the girls, meanwhile, are now in Chechnya.

Six-year-old Rajana and eight-year-old Somaja were abducted by two masked men after they got off a school bus in south-eastern Norway on Tuesday afternoon. The girls were originally from Chechnya, and were living with foster parents. PHOTO:
Six-year-old Rajana and eight-year-old Somaja were abducted by two masked men after they got off a school bus near Kongsvinger in June. Their father has admitted that they’re now in Chechnya. PHOTO:

Both girls, aged six and eight, had been placed in foster care by child welfare authorities in Norway, on concerns their parents weren’t properly caring for them. As their foster father waited to pick them up at the bus stop, two masked men suddenly appeared on the scene, snatched the girls and loaded them into a silver Toyota that then sped off. Meanwhile, their father also appeared on the scene and detained the foster father, leading police to immediately suspect his involvement.

The dramatic kidnapping caught national media attention in Norway and launched a major police investigation. As feared, the girls were quickly taken over the border, their father disappeared as well and their mother, still in Oslo, was later charged in the case. The father later called from Russia and said he’d taken the girls to his home region of Chechnya.

He later agreed to return to Norway to face charges, with newspaper VG reporting this week that he claimed he’d stayed in touch with police and said he’d eventually return. He remains charged with restricting the freedom of his daughters’ movements and illegally detaining their foster father. He counters that the girls were never legally taken from his possession and that he broke no laws by taking them out of the country. Talks involving legal counsel on both sides are now underway. staff



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