Baron Edouard-Jean Empain who lost his Finger to Kidnappers passes on

A Belgian-French industrialist, who happened to be a target of France’s most dishonorable kidnappings, has passed on at the age of 80 years. In the year 1978, Edouard Empain, who was the leader of the Schneider Company, was captured at gunpoint from his automobile that was driven by a chauffeur close to his home based in Paris. The Baron was held by the kidnappers for sixty three days. He was chained in pitch black darkness. The businessman was also beaten and starved by the unknown kidnappers. The kidnapping case grabbed the attention of the public when the kidnappers mercilessly cut Jean’s fingertip. The abductors went on to threaten that further mutilation was going to take place unless his family managed to pay a huge ransom.

By then, Jean was only 40 years of age. He was also heading a leading captain of industry. His conglomerate consisted of 300 companies and had employed over 150,000 employees around the globe. Jean was the grandson of the late Edouard Empain who was in time ennobled by the then King of Belgium. He was ennobled by the king after he managed to construct an industrial empire in the 19th century. In January of 1978 unknown men who were fully armed stopped his car on Avenue Foch in Paris. The chauffer to his vehicle was bundled into a standby van. Later, he was released after the kidnappers took away the baron. Before, there were some speculations that the Lord had been targeted by some left-wing militant groups that were aiming to seize very prominent industrialists across the continent of Europe.

However, it appeared that the kidnapper’s motive was way outdated. They contacted the baron’s family demanding 80 million francs. This was equivalent to 50 million euros in today’s money. The abductors sent the family a note that contained the lord’s finger. Then Kidnappings were becoming the order of the day. They were both political and criminal. The abductions increased to the point that the public was in total fear. The government decided to set an example and made plans by the family to pay up the ransom. The kidnappers were lured by the government to a rendezvous point. The police officers opened fire. The ambush was intense that it even left two officers wounded. One of the kidnappers was shot dead at the site, while another one was captured. The baron was later rescued. He was chained to a hideaway that was located in Paris suburb. Later on, after he was released, he lived a life of a broken man, but he forgave all his kidnappers.

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