Luis Diaz father kidnapping latest as police issue update on identity of abductors

The police force overseeing the search for Luis Diaz's father say the Colombian authorities now "have clarity" over the identity of those who kidnapped the Liverpool winger's parents.

General Alejandro Zapata has also indicated that a crossing of the border to nearby Venezuela has not yet been ruled out as the Colombian police continue to search for Luis Manuel Diaz, who taken with his wife Cilenis Marulanda on Saturday night.

According to multiple sources in Colombia, the family's van was ambushed at a petrol station by four armed men on motorcycles. From there 'operation padlock' was launched to return the pair safely and after the roads out of La Guajira were closed to deny the exit of the four kidnappers, Mrs Marulanda was eventually found in the Carretalito district.

The director of Colombia’s National Police, General William Salamanca, who spoke with Diaz on the phone on Sunday to confirm details about his father, is overseeing the rescue mission and his right-hand man General Zapata gave an update to Semana on Monday.

"We have clarity of people who could have been linked to the event," General Zapata is quoted as saying. "When events like this occur, it is generally not spontaneous, there is prior planning, people who drag people to a place, that is, they locate them so that others can arrive, and that is what we are investigating.

"What we know is that the kidnapping occurs in La Guajira and logically it is close to the border, we do not have at this time any element of judgment that indicates that the border has been crossed. We can't say for sure, but we don't rule it out either. It's quite possible that they're looking for a chance to escape to that place.

"We have made progress in the investigation, there are personnel from the Gaula and the Intelligence and Judicial Police who are analysing that information."

Liverpool learned of the kidnapping late on Saturday evening and gave Diaz the afternoon off as they beat Nottingham Forest 3-0 at Anfield while the winger sat at home awaiting updates from his homeland on the situation.

The shocking incident has led to an outpouring of support for the 26-year-old and his family with team-mates Harvey Elliott, Trent Alexander-Arnold and club captain Virgil van Dijk detailing their public backing alongside FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Linda Pizzuti, the wife of FSG chief and Liverpool owner John W Henry.

"We heard last night, late, about it," said Jurgen Klopp after Sunday's win at Anfield. "Then we spoke to Lucho, [he] wanted to go home. We sent people with him, and had people there to take care.

"There is part of his family there as well. It’s why they want to be together. It’s absolutely understandable. Then we got the news about his mum which is absolutely fantastic.

"Since then, [we've heard] nothing really. They are working on it but it’s some distance [away]. We are obviously not the first people that get informed but we try to get knowledge of everything, as much as we can, but we do not want to disturb in any way. We are not the important people there. We just want to support, that’s it."

A reward of around £40,000 has been put up for anyone with further information into the kidnapping of Mr Diaz.


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