An armed group, claiming to have Ryan Craig Piercy Bate is demanding $500,000 in Bitcoin for his safe return. News of the kidnapping was first reported on Thursday by La Extra, which referenced sources in the Judicial Investigative Police (OIJ). The ransom demand was presented to Piercy’s wife, following his disappearance on Tuesday.
Investigators found his car abandoned, and with the doors open at a Heredia coffee plantation, just off the road to Zurquí. At the scene, police recovered an item of clothing, and are processing the vehicle for evidence. Also mentioned in the report was that Ryan had received a phone call to setup the meeting a week before.
On Wednesday, an English-language report in the Tico Times also reported the disappearance under strange circumstances, but did not mention the random demand. The article in the Tico Times confirmed that the OIJ and the Canadian Embassy in San José were investigating the disappearance of a Canadian citizen who was last seen on Tuesday.
Piercy is a visible public figure, as General Manager of the Association of Residents of Costa Rica (ARCR) and Casa Canada Group. The later offers services in corporate, property, investment, insurance and mortgage administration. Piercy has also been a long time advocate of expat investors, and negotiated on their behalf in the 2004 Banco ELCA break up by the government regulators. More recently, Piercy has pushed for better treatment of expats who have been required to pay social security taxes as a condition of residency.