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French-jewish Businessman, Kidnapped New Year’s Eve, is Found Safe

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A prominent French-Jewish businessman, Louis Hazan, who was kidnapped New Year’s eve, was found safe tonight. Police said Hazan was found with his hands and feet tied in an isolated house near the cathedral city of Chartres, southwest of Paris. Police are still looking for three of his kidnappers who had demanded the equivalent of $3.4 million in ransom, one of the highest amounts in French police records.

Hazan, the 53-year-old Casablanca-born head of the Phonograph Record Company, a subsidiary of the giant Philips group, was snatched from his company’s boardroom by six armed men who bundled him into a wicker basket. Police, anxious to halt a growing wave of using hostages in France, captured three members of the gang earlier today.

A right-wing daily, “Le Parisien Libere,” used strong anti-Semitic innuendoes in its report today of Hazan’s Jewish background. It also hinted that “not everything was well” with the record company. Hazan, who is the nephew of a former chief rabbi of Alexandria, Egypt, came to France from Morocco in 1954. The record company, which he heads, is one of the largest manufacturing companies in France.

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