Following their discovery that the incident was a hoax, Israeli authorities have abandoned their hunt for a man who was supposedly kidnapped in Ethiopia.
Francis Adbabayi, 79, of Rishon Lezion, who visited his native Ethiopia a few weeks ago, is now thought to have staged his own kidnapping in order to keep the ransom, according to the Foreign Ministry.
Last Monday, Adbabayi’s family said that his supposed kidnappers had sent them a recorded message, photographs, and a brief video clip showing him shackled at the hands and feet and being protected by an armed guy.
His release had to be paid for with 2.5 million Ethiopian Birr, or roughly 164,000 shekels ($45,000).
“Support me. In the middle of a forest, I am. It is heavily raining. Help me; I wouldn’t want this pain on my enemies, according to the audio of Adbabayi.
On this issue, Israeli officials were collaborating with Interpol.
After learning that Adebabayi had accepted incoming calls from Israeli numbers, authorities apparently dropped the case.