Des Gregor is lucky to be alive.
CANBERRA (Reuters) - An Australian farmer who was kidnapped and beaten in Mali after walking into an Internet bride scam has pleaded with people to be careful looking for online love.This story sounds like a variation on the Nigerian letter scam. A big dowry for a woman coming from a poor country. How many red flags did there have to be? Greed almost always gets the better of people.
South Australian farmer Des Gregor, 56, returned to Australia on Sunday night after being held hostage by machete-armed bandits in Africa for 12 days.
"I was tied, bound by the legs, and that was only probably for a couple of days because they knew that I was going to cooperate. There was always one bloke sleeping at the door, there was no way out," Gregor told Australian media.
Love-struck Gregor arrived in Mali last month to meet his supposed fiancee, Natacha, whom he had "met" on the Internet, and collect a dowry of gold bars worth $100,000.
Instead, the wheat and sheep farmer was picked up at the airport in a car and driven to a single bedroom apartment in the capital, Bamako, which was full of armed men.
Gregor was told his limbs would be hacked off unless his family in Australia paid a $100,000 ransom.
The scam was only stopped and Gregor freed when Australian and Mali police in turn duped the kidnappers into letting Gregor enter the Canadian embassy in Bamako to collect the ransom.
Mali is one of the world's poorest countries, with a prolonged drought hitting the mainly farming and fishing-based economy.
Note- The kidnappers weren't very smart either by allowing Mr. Gregor to visit the Canadian embassy. Maybe they watched this movie too often and thought they'd get their victim out in the end.
Linked to- Bright & Early, Leaning Straight Up, Mark My Words, Morewhat, Perri Nelson,