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Banker's wife kidnapped

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Banker's wife kidnapped
Photo: DPA
09:23 CEST+02:00
A massive police operation was underway Friday to find a senior banker's wife who has been kidnapped and held to ransom for several hundred thousand euros.

Maria Bögerl, 54, was kidnapped Wednesday morning about 10.35. She is the wife of Thomas Bögerl, Sparkasse banking chief in the Heidenheim region of Baden-Württemberg.

According to daily Bild, Bögerl has spoken with his wife by phone and she told him the kidnapper or kidnappers were threatening to kill her.

A police spokesman said Friday morning that about 300 police were involved in the search, including elite investigators. They were following 35 leads that had come in from the public, though none of these leads was concrete. Police began a search of the massive woodlands in the area on Thursday, he said.

Less than an hour after Bögerl was snatched, her husband received a call from a kidnapper. He was ordered to leave the ransom money on the A7 motorway near Heidenheim, marked with a German flag.

He followed the orders but the money - reportedly several hundred thousand euros - was not collected.

“Despite all the demands being fulfilled, there was no handover,” an investigator told Bild.

Maria Bögerl's black Mercedes A-Class car was also missing.

Police released an appeal made by the Bögerl family: ''Please give us back our beloved mother and wife, safe and sound. We desperately appeal to your humanity.''

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