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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney
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I was taken hostage by a corrupt police officer in the Ukraine

Customer Question

I was taken hostage by a corrupt police officer in the Ukraine for 18 hours Thursday night. He wanted $27,000 for my release. I had phone contact with my bank in the USA many times during this ordeal, which my bank recorded. The FBI got involved. I was able to escape and catch a flight out of Odessa as the policeman was sleeping. I want to file a 50 million dollar lawsuit against the Ukrainian Interior Ministry and Odessa police department. How and who can help me do this?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to answer your question.

I am sorry to hear about this unfortunate situation.

Unfortunately, it is not likely that you would be able to sue or collect any monetary damages for your travel from the government of Ukraine, under current Ukrainian laws and given the fact that Ukraine is a sovereign country.

However, it might be possible for you to file formal criminal complaint against the corrupt police officer, if you were in fact were held against your will illegally and / or if this officer attempted to illegally extort money from you.

Can you please provide me with more details about what happened, so I can review the details and will provide you with an answer whether you might have a criminal recourse against this police officer.

Thanks.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

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.

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Dear Stuart,

Thank you for your follow up.

1) Why did you touch a bag with drugs, which was not yours?

2) Why did you sign any documents in Ukrainian or Russian which you did not understand?

3) Do you know if this policemen filed the confessions that you signed about drug possession and criminal charges have been or will be filed against you in Ukraine?

4) Did you end up giving any money to "Olesya" or her brother while in Ukraine?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

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


4) no

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Dear Stuart,

Thank you for your follow up.

1) Were "Olesya" and "Sasha" arrested by the police officer or in some other way did this police officers take any action against them, since they aided in your escape?

2) Do you ever plain on returning to any part of Ukraine?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


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)

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Dear Stuart,

Thank you for your follow up.

Unfortunately, as I stated previously, it would not be generally possible for you to sue Ukraine and its government for any monetary damages, due to the illegal actions of this police officers.

Also, it is possible that you might have been setup either by your g/f or by her brother or some other acquaintances of theirs, who knew that you were from the US and might have access to some money.

Basically, it would be a good idea for you to consult and hire an experienced criminal law attorney in Odessa Ukraine and to have this local attorney collect all the evidence related to this situation and to present them to the Ukrainian Office of the Prosecutor General and also to the internal affairs / security department of the Odessa Police department so, this matter can be investigated and hopefully the police officers involved would be fired, arrested and criminally prosecuted for their criminal actions.

Unfortunately, Ukraine is a relatively poor country and their police and government is very corrupt (I personally have been in Ukraine and in Odessa on a work related trips), so you would need to involve an experienced local criminal defense attorney in Odessa and also you might need to contact US Embassy in Ukraine and ask them to also pressure local officials to investigate the crime that has been perpetrated against you.

I wish you the best of luck!
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12756
Experience: Experienced Licensed Attorney
Alex J. Esq. and 8 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you very much.

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Dear Stuart,

Thank you for accepting my answer and for your generous bonus, I really do appreciate it.

I am truly glad that you were able to escape this situation without any injury, as it could have turned into a real nightmare, if you did not escape this criminally minded and corrupt police officers and you could have ended up losing your freedom, getting seriously injured or even killed.

I really think that it is a good idea for you to refrain from visiting Ukraine, until this matter is properly investigated and proper action is taken to prosecute and penalize this criminal police officers who have kidnapped you.

I wish you the best of luck and God bless you!

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