A British tourist who was kidnapped in Italy and held for at least a week by a criminal gang has been freed in a raid conducted by police.
The four men who allegedly kidnapped the 25-year-old Briton, who has not yet been named, tried to extort €7,000 in exchange for his release, police said.
He was reportedly kidnapped at least eight days ago and held in an apartment, barefoot and handcuffed.
During a telephone conversation with his family, he was able to use some sort of code to tell them that he was being held hostage, police said.
Detectives managed to identify his location by tracking his mobile phone signal.
He was released in a raid conducted by a special unit of the Carabinieri police on Wednesday afternoon.
Four men arrested after police raid
Police gave details of the operation on Thursday. They said the young man had been on holiday in Italy when he was kidnapped.
The Carabinieri said they collaborated with the National Crime Agency in the operation to locate and free the man.
They found him tied up in an apartment in the village of Monte San Giusto, near the city of Macerata in central Italy.
Three of his alleged kidnappers were Italian, while the fourth was Moroccan.
They were arrested and remanded in custody in a prison near the city of Ancona.
Tourist left shaken by ordeal
Police said his captors had forced the Briton to call his family and request that they pay a ransom for his release.
But officers are curious as to why the amount was so derisory.
“There are still many aspects that need to be clarified,” said Colonel Francesco D’Ecclesiis, the commander of the Carabinieri unit involved in the operation.
Police said the British tourist was physically unharmed but very shaken by his ordeal.
An investigation is being conducted by a local prosecutor, Stefania Ciccioli.
The Telegraph contacted the NCA for comment.