Kaspersky Son Released Safe In Police Sting

The Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab issued a statement regarding the successful release of Ivan Kaspersky, son of Russian Internet security tycoon Eugene Kaspersky and ex-wife Natalya Kaspersky, who co-founded the company.

"Kaspersky Lab confirms that an operation to free Ivan Kaspersky was carried out successfully by the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Criminal Investigation Department of the Moscow Police and Kaspersky Lab's own security personnel. Ivan is alive and well and is currently located at a safe location. No ransom was paid during the rescue operation. Eugene Kaspersky and Natalya Kaspersky are currently unavailable for comment."

The statement was the first time that Kaspersky publicly acknowledged that Ivan Kaspersky had been kidnapped.

The kidnapping culminated in a successful sting operation involving numerous Russian government agencies, The Moscow Times reported. During the operation, Ivan Kaspersky was freed unharmed from a banya where he was being held by his captors around Moscow, according to a Moscow Times report. No guns were fired during the operation.

Sponsored post

Five individuals were arrested following the sting, including an elderly ex-convict, and charged with Ivan Kaspersky's kidnapping. Kidnapping is an offense that carries up to 15 years in prison.

The captors held Ivan Kaspersky at their house near Moscow region and contacted Eugene Kaspersky by cell phone to demand the ransom, according to The Moscow Times. Interfax said that investigators were able to determine the location of the banya by tracing the phone call, according to the report. Police then lured the suspects from the premises by asking them to collect a down payment on the ransom, and then stopped them by pretending to conduct a routine document check before arresting them. One of the captors attempted to resist arrest, the report said. Meanwhile, police stormed the banya and freed Ivan Kaspersky unharmed.

Throughout the operation, police spread false information about the kidnapping to the media as part of the operation, including that Kaspersky had paid the ransom in order to free his son.

Life News, a Russian news tabloid, first reported that the kidnappers demanded a $4.3 million ransom in exchange for Ivan Kaspersky's safe return.

Reports circulated last week that Ivan Kaspersky had been abducted in Moscow on Tuesday while on his way to work at InfoWatch, a company owned by his mother Natalya.

Gartner has ranked Kaspersky Lab as the third largest consumer security firm in the world, while its founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky, is estimated to carry a net worth of around $800 million, according to Forbes Russia.