Italian police free British man handcuffed and held hostage for eight days in apartment

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Italian police say they have freed a British man held hostage for eight days in an apartment where he was found barefooted and handcuffed.

The 25-year-old, whose name has not been released, was allegedly kidnapped by a group of four and held in Monte San Giusto, a town in Macerata province in the central Marche region.

His captors allowed him to call his parents in the UK to ask them to send him €7,000 (£5,937), the amount demanded to secure his release, and via a coded message they understood that he was being held against his will.

The man's father contacted the National Crime Agency (NCA), which in turn raised the alert with Italian police.

Massimiliano Mengasini, a lieutenant colonel at the Macerata unit of Italy's Ros Carabinieri special operations group, said the man was located and freed on Wednesday.

Three men and a woman have been arrested over the alleged kidnap of the man, who is from London.

"He had been kept in the dark room of an apartment, handcuffed and barefoot," said Mr Mengasini.

"We are still working to shed light on the case," he added.

The man was found in good physical health, despite having been fed sparingly.

Police said he had been "psychologically tested" by the ordeal.

The NCA's Sean Kelly, operations manager for the anti-kidnap and extortion unit, said: "We have been working closely with the Italian authorities since the kidnap of a British man was reported.

"NCA officers in Italy and specialists from AKEU, working together with UK policing, have been providing close support to the Carabinieri Police as part of its ongoing investigation.

"We are pleased that this incident has been resolved successfully."

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