A woman from Honduras faked her own kidnapping this week so she could cover recent casino losses. But police have since found her inside a casino.
This past Tuesday, Delicia May Johnson Bodden of Roatan, Honduras contacted her family on WhatsApp and said that kidnappers had grabbed her. They were willing to release her if the family paid 20 thousand Honduran lempiras (US$806).
Bodden was allegedly hoping to recover the money she had recently lost at a casino. The victim even sent pictures she hoped would corroborate her story.
The family contacted the police after receiving the messages. That led to the case landing on the desk of the National Anti-Kidnapping Unit (UNAS, for its Spanish acronym) of the Police Directorate of Investigations in Honduras.
The specialized unit began an investigation to locate the victim and her captors. However, they discovered that Bodden was faking her own kidnapping. They found her safe and sound and playing in an unspecified casino located in the Pensa Cola sector of Roatan.
Bodden reportedly works as a housekeeper in a hotel in the sector. Her supervisor sent her to purchase supplies, but she spent the money on alcoholic beverages and gambling instead. Bodden later decided to take money from her family to pay for what her employer gave her.
The UNAS, for obvious reasons, didn’t detail in its report how it was able to determine the kidnapping was a hoax. It only mentioned that the WhatsApp messages were a key starting point. From there, in less than a few hours, the group was able to solve the mystery.
Bodden faces charges of “simulation of non-existent infraction” for her wayward scheme. The Prosecutor’s Office of the Public Ministry of Honduras allowed her to return to her relatives but could press charges once it completes its investigation.
As odd as they may be, fake kidnappings are common. For some people, they are almost an accepted way to get what they want, and not always for monetary gain. In 2011, Brazilian soccer player Somalia reportedly faked his own kidnapping because he was late for practice and didn’t want to be penalized.
There are plenty of examples of people using hoax kidnappings to pick up quick cash for gambling. A Spanish woman used the ruse last year to con her husband out of €6,000 (US$7,000). He was in the hospital at the time.
However, not all gambling-related kidnappings are fake. Recently, a Chinese man met a woman on a date at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. There, once inside a hotel room, he tied her up and began emptying her bank account and credit cards so he could gamble.
The unlucky gambler held her for over 12 hours, stealing S$72,800 (US$53,493). He now gets to sit in a Singapore jail cell for the next three years, where the only gambling action he might have is on himself and cigarettes.
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