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On 30 sep 2013, at approximately 1:00 a.m. (Ukrainian time), I was standing outside of a karaoke club somewhere in Odessa. Suddenly, out of a parked car next to me, 3 people jumped out of this car, grabbed me, and forced me in the back seat. Two uniformed officers sat on each side of me while a painclothsed man drove a short distance to a very small police precinct. None of these men spoke English and I do not speak Ukrainian or Russian. As I was following one of the policemen into the precinct, the other came a little behind and told us to stop. He held his hand out and asked me what this was in his hand. As I took it in my hand, it appeared to be some type of very small plastic bag with a white powder substance inside. I had no idea what this was or where it came from. He took it back from me and we went inside. I never saw the plainclothsed man again. The two police officers then told me I was in big trouble, facing 8 years in prison for posessing illegal drugs. My girlfriend (Olesya) and her brother (Sasha) were concerned of my whereabouts and called my cell phone. The policeman had my phone, answered and told them where I was at. Olesya and Sasha soon arrived at the small police station. I was fingerprinted and forced to sign some papers in Russian. I was also forced to confess, so I made up a story about where I got this substance. The two police officers were drinking beer this entire 6 hours as they interogated us. At about 7:00 a.m., one of the officers took me, Olesya and Sasha to Sasha's car. The policeman had a bag with the substance and all the paperwork inside. Sasha drove, Olesya as passenger, me and the policeman in the back. The policeman said his boss (Who I never saw) wanted $25,000 from me and something also for himself, then he would let me go free. I had telephone contact with my bank (Service Credit Union, New Hampshire) many times during the next 12 hours. I was immediately able to notify the bank representative on the telephone exactly of my situation, because the police officer did not understand English. As I later found out, the FBI arrived at my fathers house in Springfield, Ohio shortly after. I was threatened and terrorized inside Sasha's car as we drove and parked at various locations in Odessa. My bank refused to send money. At about 6:00 p.m., we arrived at Sasha's house, where my luggage was at. The police officer wanted to take me and my belongings to the station. Sasha gave the policeman beer and vodka until he was drunk again. Sasha and Olesya left in the car to get more alcohol, leaving me and the officer alone. When they returned with the alcohol, Sasha was able to get the officer to lay down and rest. He fell asleep. While Sasha and Olesya were out getting the alcohol, they also stopped at the airport in Odessa and bought me a ticket for the next flight out, which was going to Istanbul, Turkey. As the officer slept, at approximately 7:00 pm, Sasha and Olesya packed my luggage in the car and we drove swiftly to the airport. I was able to get on this flight. I found out during this ordeal that the policeman has served on the force for five years and was in the Ukrainian army for one year prior. He is about 30 years old, small (Maybe 5'5"), black hair, and has a 2 year old son named Masha. He wore 2 stars on his shoulder straps. He terrorized me for some 18 hours, holding me hostage and demanded $27,000. I know that my bank recorded all communication. Also, the first request to my bank included 2 unknown names who were to receive some of the ransom money per Western Union. My first two requests were sent as attachments to emails from a internet cafe somewhere in Odessa.
1) I did not know what he was handing me.
2) I wrote above my signature that I do not understand anything on this paper.
3) Did not know
1) I have communicated with Olesya through email since returning home. She told me the police officer has taken Sasha's car and wants $10,000 dollars from them.
2) No. I don't think it is a good idea.
(I have been to Ukraine about 8 times in the last 2 years. I have known Olesya for almost 2 years. We were going to marry during my trip this time, so I trust and believe what she tells me)
Thank you very much.
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