Police have arrested a suspect in the 17-month-old kidnapping of breakfast chain Chez Cora’s president.
On Tuesday morning (September 4), Sûreté du Québec (SQ) officers apprehended a 49-year-old Laval man, Paul Zaidan, in connection with the abduction of Nicholas Tsouflidis last spring. Tsouflidis is the son of the chain’s eponymous founder, Cora Tsouflidou.
The kidnapping and release of Tsouflidis happened within the space of a few hours in March 2017 — a duo reportedly kidnapped Tsouflidis at gunpoint from his house in Mirabel late at night, and then found partially tied up 30 kilometres away in Laval the following morning, having spent eight hours captive at another residence, and in the trunk of a car. The incident was described as an “amateurish ransom attempt”, with the goal of extracting money from Tsouflidis.
Police later released sketches of two men in their late 20s or early 30s as suspects before the case fell out of the public eye; however, the man arrested today was substantially older than the suspects police initially described.
After today’s arrest, La Presse has hints about a possible connection between the suspect and Tsouflidis — Zaidan is reportedly a former Chez Cora franchisee who lost his franchise, and had “trouble” with Tsouflidis at some point.
Tsouflidis issued a statement saying that after a challenging year, he was “relieved” to learn of the arrest, and noting that the kidnapping seemed to be an isolated incident. Tsouflidis said he will not offer any additional comments or interviews as any possible case unfolds.
Zaidan will appear in court in Laval this afternoon, and will face various charges, including kidnapping, uttering threats, the use of a fake firearm, and kidnapping with the intent to obtain ransom money.
Police suggested that this is just the beginning: representatives have told media sources that more arrests are likely in the near future.