Brit businessman and wife snatched in Ecuador by 15-strong gang who stormed home

Prominent British businessman Colin Armstrong and his wife have reportedly been kidnapped in Ecuador, after a gang of 15 criminals stormed his estate.

The incident took place at the Rodeo Grande ranch in the province of Los Rios, local media reports claim. A video showing signs of forced entry, blood traces and ransacked rooms is believed to be circulating on social media. A woman filming inside the ranch took close-up shots of broken plates on the floor and a man who appeared to be holding a bandage to his head.

She then walked into one of the bedrooms where there was blood over the bed and said as she focused in on the stained sheets: “This is where they hit him. My God what is this?”. The unidentified woman appeared to be referring to the man she had previously filmed sitting on the stairs nursing what looked to be a head wound.

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The police have confirmed they are investigating the kidnapping which occurred in Baba, in the province of Los Rios. Mr Armstrong, who also serves as Britain's Honorary Consul in Guayaquil, is the founder of Agripac, a large firm in Ecuador that produces, distributes and sells agricultural and industrial supplies.

The 78-gear-old expat businessman was awarded the OBE and CMG for services to the British Monarchy in 2011. The Ecuadorian police stated: "Following an apparent criminal act against a businessman in the early hours of this morning in Los Rios, specialist police units are carrying out operative and investigative work on the ground."

It's alleged that Mr Armstrong's wife, Katherine Paola Santos, a Colombian woman was also kidnapped. The honorary consul's car, a black BMW, was found abandoned on the road between Baba and Salitre.

The investigation hints towards a probable kidnapping around 2:45 am local time at Mr Armstrong's property recognised as Rancho Rodeo Grande. An unverified report says the couple were taken by men disguised as police officers.

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