Police Bust 'Child Retrieval' Commando Squad
One former Olympic sailing champion among those arrested
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2013 3:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – Most child-smuggling operations don't advertise their services online. But Italian police have busted a group that appears to have done just that. Police say they've taken down a group of ex-special forces operatives who charged "tens of thousands of euros" to kidnap children involved in cross-border custody disputes on behalf of a parent, the AFP reports. Using high-speed boats, Russian weapons, pepper sprays and tasers, the commandos would nab children in raids that, the police statement alleged, put "the child's life at risk."

Police have arrested three Italians, and one Ukranian woman—namely former Olympic sailing champion Moskalenko Larysa, who allegedly provided boats for one of the raids. Two Norwegians are still at large, and a Swede is already in custody. The veterans worked for a Norwegian security contractor called ABP World Group. On its website, ABP advertises a Child Recovery" service, characterizing it as a solution to "parental kidnappings." "Your child's safety is our number one priority," the site promises.