By Maha Suliman.
Benghazi, 11 December, 2014:
The body of a retired colonel who was kidnapped in mid-October has been identified in Benghazi,. . . .[restrict]His family had tried desperately to meet steep ransom demands.
Sami Mavrakis finally identified yesterday. His body had been discovered three weeks ago by the Libyan Red Crescent in a now abandoned compound which used to house Chinese construction workers. In the last few months, the area has been targeted frequently with airstrikes carried out by the Libyan National Army (LNA) which claimed the district was used by Ansar Al-Sharia to store weapons.
His body was transferred to Benghazi Medical Centre where it remained until a positive identification could be made.
He was snatched in front of his wife and children on 18 October in the Ganfouda district of Benghazi. Four vehicles were also stolen during the attack.
Although Mavrakis was a member of the Benghazi Security Directorate and a retired pilot in the Libyan Air Force, a family member told the Libya Herald that this was not the reason behind his kidnapping. Since a large ransom had been demanded, they suspected he really was taken for financial reasons.
The family were reportedly unable to raise the full amount but managed to gather a substantial sum. However, they apparently never heard from the kidnappers again. [/restrict]