Rome - A Ukrainian woman and three Italian men belonging to what Italian media Friday are calling a child kidnapping ring were arrested in Italy on charges of belonging to a criminal organization.
Arrest warrants were also issued for two Norwegians and a Swede. All are believed to be employees of Scandinavian firm ABP World Group, which offers services in international child custody conflict and missing children.
According to the reports, charges against the people involved include human trafficking, kidnapping and child abduction, the reports say.
Martin Waage, chief executive of security firm ABP World Group, rejected the media reports.
“First of all, we are not a criminal organization, we don't do kidnapping, we don't do trafficking, we don't use weapons,” he said in a telephone interview from Oslo, Norway, with dpa.
“They travelled down to Tunisia via (the Sicilian city of) Palermo because when we do close protection we always want a backdoor out of countries like Tunisia,” he said.
The case involved a Norwegian woman whose Tunisian husband had taken their child to Tunisia. Waage's firm was approached as the mother was preparing for a custody case in Tunisia.
The mother has won custody, but the father has refused to hand over the child. The woman remains in Tunisia as she has been prevented from returning to Norway, he said.