Dales businessman Colin Armstrong kidnapped in Ecuador

Colin Armstrong. Photo: Tupgill Park Estate.

The owner of the Forbidden Corner attraction and the Saddle Room restaurant has been kidnapped in Ecuador

Colin Armstrong, 78, who owns Tupgill Park Estate in Coverdale, was reportedly snatched along with a Colombian woman thought to be his wife Katherine Paola Santos early on Saturday morning.

The kidnap is understood to have happened around 2.45am local time on Saturday morning at Mr Armstrong’s ranch called Rancho Rodeo Grande.

Police have confirmed they are investigating the kidnap in Baba in the province of Los Rios.

A spokesman for the Ecuadorian police said: “Following an apparent criminal act against a businessman in the early hours of this morning in Los Rios, specialist police units are carrying out operative and investigative work on the ground.”

Local media are reporting that his black BMW was driven away by the kidnappers and was later found abandoned on the road between Baba and the nearby town of Salitre.

Mr Armstrong, who was brought up at Tupgill Park and lives part of the time on the estate, is also the head of the British Consulate in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil.

Mr Armstrong was awarded the OBE and CMG for services to the British Monarchy in 2011.

Forbidden Corner was originally built as a private folly but is now a popular visit destination, attracting tens of thousands of visitors every year.

The attraction remains open today.


The Forbidden Corner.

Until recently, Ecuador has been a relatively peaceful country.

however, in recent year kidnapping have become more common with victims often held until their families pay a ransom.