UPDATE (March 13) — More details about Nicholas Tsouflidis’ kidnapping surfaced over the weekend, and the Globe and Mail recapped most of it. It turns out that the Chez Cora president spent most of the eight hours he was missing in captivity — both in the trunk of a car, and at another residence. Police determined that the abduction was not linked to organized crime, although it did entail some sort of ransom demand: in the Globe’s words (but apparently informed by police), it was “an amateurish random attempt”.
UPDATE (March 10) — The Canadian Press spoke to Cora vice-president Lucie Normandin, who was “categoric” that the company did not know the motive behind the kidnapping. She also noted that Tsouflidis was fine.
Le Journal de Montréal reports that Tsouflidis returned home on Thursday evening, where several of his close family had spent some of the day. The Sûreté du Québec are searching for at least two suspects but not much more is publicly known — the police are reportedly unsure if Tsouflidis was blindfolded for some (or all) of the abduction, but they have indicated that he is no longer in danger, and that he did not spend the entire night outside in the ditch where he was found.
The president of well-known Quebec-based breakfast restaurant chain Chez Cora (simply Cora outside Quebec) was kidnapped from his Mirabel home overnight.
According to TVA, Police in Mirabel, to the north-west of Montreal, received the call that Nicholas Tsouflidis had been kidnapped at gunpoint around 10 p.m. last night. An overnight police search was unsuccessful, but Tsouflidis was found around 6 a.m. on Montée Champagne in the Sainte-Dorothée district of Laval, about 30 kilometres south of his home.
Two passersby found Tsouflidis climbing a ditch — alive, but with his hands tied up with duct tape. Montreal radio station 98.5 FM spoke to one of the passersby this morning, who told them Tsouflidis had no idea where he was, but was very happy to see the two strangers. Tsouflidis told the duo that one of the kidnappers struck him on the head with a gun during the abduction. He was treated for shock in hospital.
44-year-old Tsouflidis has been president of the company since 2008. He took the chain over after his mother Cora Tsouflidou — the company’s namesake — stepped down. She built the company up from just one location in Ville-St-Laurent in 1987, with Chez Cora now counting over 130 restaurants across Canada.
The restaurant chain has confirmed Tsouflidis’ identity as the victim, and police are questioning him today to find out more about his kidnappers. Quebec’s provincial police, the Sûreté du Québec are treating it as a a major crime. They have not made yet any arrests, and haven’t released any details of possible suspects.
- Le président de Cora déjeuners enlevé et retrouvé ligoté [TVA Nouvelles]
- President of Cora breakfast chain kidnapped, found in Laval: report [CTV]
- Le président de la chaîne de restaurants de déjeuners «Cora» retrouvé ligoté et confus [98.5 FM]
- About Cora [Chez Cora]
- Chez Cora says it doesn't know why president was kidnapped, released [Montreal Gazette]
- Enlèvement nébuleux [Le Journal de Montréal]
- President of Cora restaurants recovering after botched kidnapping [Globe and Mail]