Canada, UK to raise the issue of ransom payments - Trudeau | Reuters

KANANASKIS, Alberta Canada and Britain will press other nations about the practice of paying ransoms to free kidnap victims, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday, the day after a Canadian hostage was found dead in the Philippines.

Trudeau said if Canada paid ransoms it would put at risk all Canadians who travelled or lived abroad. Islamist militants beheaded the Canadian man this week after a ransom deadline passed.

Asked about nations that do give money to kidnappers, Trudeau said he had discussed the matter with British Prime Minister David Cameron and both nations were convinced the practice was wrong.

"We agreed that it is something that we are going to make sure we do bring up with our friends and allies around the world," Trudeau told reporters after a cabinet retreat in the Alberta resort of Kananaskis.

"We need to make sure that terrorists understand that they cannot continue to fund their crimes and their violence (by) taking innocents hostage," he said.

John Ridsdel, 68, a former mining executive, was executed by Abu Sayyaf militants who captured him and three other people in September 2015 while they were on vacation on a Philippine island. Another Canadian, Robert Hall, is still in captivity.

The Islamic State-linked group has made tens of millions of dollars from ransom money since it was formed in the 1990s, security experts say, channelling it into guns, grenade launchers, high-powered boats and modern equipment.

The Philippines rarely publicises payments of ransom, but it is widely believed no captives are released without them. A German couple seized on their yacht in 2014 was released after $5.3 million was paid and, in 2000, the Libyan government, acting as an intermediary, handed over $10 million to free 10 European and Middle Eastern tourists.

(Reporting by Andrea Hopkins, writing by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio)

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Updated Date: Apr 27, 2016 01:46:57 IST

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