Representation image. Kat Wilcox/Pexels

The prosecutor's press office has shared that they started an investigation into the kidnapping of British businessman and former honorary consul Colin Armstrong, who was rescued by Ecuador police days after the abduction.

The 78-year-old agricultural businessman was kidnapped over the weekend, but police rescued him on Tuesday. They also arrested nine suspects, eight of whom were Ecuadorian national and one was a foreigner. However, no further details have been shared regarding the suspects yet, as per AP News.

A group of armed individuals took Armstrong from his house alongside a woman, who was identified as his partner. They were then transported using the businessman's own car, which was later abandoned in a nearby area.

General César Zapata, commander of the National Police, shared on Wednesday that police agents found Armstrong in the coastal province of Manabi, which is about 234 kilometers southwest of Quito, where he lives.

Zapata said Armstrong's Colombian-born partner, Katherine Paola Santos, was freed just a few hours after the kidnapping but in an isolated area with suspected explosive devices attached to her body. However, those devices were eventually found to be fake.

The kidnappers allegedly asked for a hefty ransom, but authorities did not disclose if Armstrong was rescued following a confrontation with the kidnappers or after paying the ransom amount.

Ecuador has been dealing with a high volume of various crimes, including drug trafficking and kidnapping. Its newly elected president, Daniel Noboa, has pledged that his administration will reduce violence in the country.

Last week, Ecuador's attorney general said 29 people, including the head of the country's judicial regulator, were detained for investigation in a drug trafficking case. More than 75 raids were carried out in a single day.

Noboa, who took over the office last month, celebrated the arrest and said, "No crime will go unpunished."

Ecuador isn't the only Latin American country dealing with crimes like drug trafficking. Countries like Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela have also been linked to drug production and transit.

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