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Frenchman seized in Venezuela, ransom sought-family

Source Reuters

PARIS, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Kidnappers have threatened to kill a Frenchman seized in Venezuela nearly a month ago unless they are paid a ransom for his release by Sunday, his daughter said on Wednesday.

The French government confirmed Christophe Beck disappeared last month from the farm where he lives in western Venezuela and said it was doing all it could to secure his release.

"At about six o'clock in the morning my father heard dogs barking. He went outside, five people attacked him and beat him," the victim's daughter, Francesca Beck, told Reuters from her home in France.

She said the assailants had tied her mother up and stolen jewellery, money and other items before taking her father away in his own car.

She added that the captors had demanded about 40,000 euros ($48,370) be paid by Sunday and that her family believed Beck was being held near the border with Colombia. He looked weak in photographs received by the family after he went missing.

The French Foreign Ministry confirmed a French citizen had been abducted on December 13 in the state of Barinas, but gave no other details.

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