Amanda Lindhout reveals it was Calgary Flames co-owner who helped pay ransom to free her
A Calgary businessman and philanthropist says he paid roughly $750,000 to help free kidnapped journalist Amanda Lindhout in Somalia.
Allan Markin, a co-owner of the Calgary Flames, says he didn’t know Lindhout when she was taken hostage in 2008.
But the 73-year-old says he believes in helping people.
Lindhout and Markin both spoke at a fundraiser last weekend for the Mustard Seed charity, and she surprised Markin by divulging to the crowd that he had saved her life.
Lindhout had not publicly revealed before who paid the ransom for her release.
She was working as a freelance journalist near Mogadishu when she and an Australian photographer, Nigel Brennan, were taken by armed men.
Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of the kidnapping of Amanda Lindhout.
They were released after being held hostage for 15 months.
In her best-selling book A House in the Sky, co-authored by Sara Corbett, Lindhout revealed $1.2 million was spent to free her and Brennan.
The pair’s families, after giving up on help from the Canadian and Australian governments, co-ordinated their release. About $600,000 went to the kidnappers as ransom and the rest went to other costs, including a $2,000 per day fee for a private hostage negotiator.
Undercover RCMP officers later lured Ali Omar Ader of Somalia to Canada with a ruse about a book deal. He was convicted last year of kidnapping Lindhout and Brennan and sentenced to 15 years.