Posted: May 13, 2022, 5:35 a.m.
Last update: May 13, 2022, 5:35 a.m.
A Honduran woman faked her own kidnapping so she could cover the casino’s recent losses. It didn’t take long for the ensuing police investigation to end, with law enforcement finding her in a casino.
Last Tuesday, a Honduran woman contacted her family on WhatsApp and said kidnappers had caught her. They were prepared to release her if the family paid 20,000 Honduran lempiras ($806).
The victim even sent photos that she hoped would corroborate. However, it was nothing more than a sham concocted by the woman herself.
Delicia May Johnson Bodden of Roatan created the tale with the aim of earning free money. Her goal for the money was to recover the money she recently lost in a casino, but her plan quickly fell apart. She now faces a judge over her actions.
The family contacted the police after receiving the messages. This led to the case landing on the office of the National Anti-Kidnapping Unit (UNAS, for its Spanish acronym) of the Police Investigations Directorate in Honduras.
The specialized unit has opened an investigation to locate the victim and his kidnappers. However, they discovered that Bodden was faking his own kidnapping. They found her safe and sound, playing at an unspecified casino located in the Pensa Cola area of Roatan.
Bodden reportedly works as a housekeeper at a hotel in the area. Her supervisor sent her to buy supplies, but she instead spent the money on booze and gambling. Bodden then decided to take money from his family to pay for what his employer had given him.
UNAS, for obvious reasons, did not detail in its report how it was able to determine that the kidnapping was a hoax. He only mentioned WhatsApp messages as a key starting point. From there, in less than a few hours, the group was able to solve the mystery.
Bodden faces charges of “simulated non-existent infraction” for his wayward scheme. The Honduran Public Prosecutor’s Office has allowed her to return to her family, but may press charges once the investigation is complete.
Common fake kidnappings
Strange as they are, fake kidnappings are commonplace. For some people they are almost an accepted way to get what they want, and not always for monetary gain. In 2011, Brazilian footballer Somalia allegedly faked his own kidnapping because he was late for training and didn’t want to be penalised.
There are many examples of people using prank kidnappings to quickly pick up some money to gamble. A Spaniard used the trick last year to defraud her husband 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 while on a date at 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 more than 12 hours, stealing 72,800 Singapore dollars (US$53,493) from her. He can now sit in a Singapore jail cell for the next three years, where the only gambling action he might have is about himself and cigarettes.