NEWS

Cretan hotelier held hostage

Lured to Portugal by the promise of a business deal, a Cretan hotel owner endured five days of beatings after being held hostage by a gang which demanded a 100,000-euro ransom from his family, officers said yesterday. The unnamed 55-year-old businessman flew to Lisbon on Saturday to clinch a deal with a Portuguese company that supposedly wanted to hire his small hotel for the next three months. The hotelier was kidnapped by seven Romanians posing as the interested parties, officers said. The man was allowed to call home to arrange for ransom payment. His family contacted the police in Crete, who notified the Portuguese authorities. Three Romanian men and a woman were arrested yesterday when they went to pick up the first 5,000 euros in ransom. Two more men were then arrested when police raided a house in the Lisbon suburbs, where they also found the Cretan hotelier.