Raymond Nakachian, father of kidnapped Melodie, dies

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THE funeral of Raymond Nakachian who hit the headlines when his five year old daughter was kidnapped for 11 days in 1987, was due to take place today.

The Lebanese born businessman, 82, passed away after a long illness at his Estepona home on Monday.

His name became known around the world when his little girl Melodie was abducted by a French gang at gunpoint. Her brother had been taking her to school at Aloha college, Marbella at the time. The gang threatened to kill Melodie if a ransom of €9.5 million was not paid. The negotiations with the kidnappers kept public interest high, especially in Spain where kidnappings were rare. Tapes of her pleading for her freedom were released daily and aired on TV and radio. Police advised Nakachian to stall the kidnappers while they attempted to gather information. This he did, and being a canny businessman with experience in kidnappings – he had paid a ransom previously to have two daughters by a previous marriage freed – he negotiated them down to €1.5million within a few days.

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In the end it was pure luck and sheer carelessness that gave the gang away and led to the rescue of Melodie. A woman spotted a wallet fall out of the pocket of a jogger in Torremolinos, but she was unable to catch up with him to give it back. So she handed it over to a priest who passed it on to police. Inside they found a ransom note.

Information gleaned from the wallet led police to the gang’s hideout in San Roque. They arrived and rescued Melodie just three hours after Nakachian had agreed to pay the ransom. They arrested a French woman and man as well as a Spanish man at the flat. The woman was shot and wounded during the rescue as she tried to use Melodie as a human shield, said police.

Eventually 17 people were found guilty on charges related to the kidnapping. The mother of a school friend of Melodie’s was sentenced to 12 years in jail for supplying the gang with information.


Nakachian’s funeral was due to be held today (Thursday) in Estepona. Melodie flew over from her American home to pay her last respects to the father who had been willing to pay €1.5million for her release.  Now 32 she works as a child psychologist, perhaps having gained an insight into childhood trauma from her experiences.  She returned regularly to the Costa del Sol to see her father and  Korean born pop-opera singer mother Kimera

At the time of the kidnapping Nakachian was a familiar face on the Marbella social scene, but afterwards he preferred a quieter family life. Neighbours at the Estepona urbanisation he lived on said he kept himself to himself, though was always friendly.


3 COMMENTS

  1. I always considered Raymond whom I knew from 1954 London as Raymond Nash my very close friend. We resided in the same house at 13 Leinster Gds, Bayswater. He was a very clever man,
    extremely generous, and very good in business. When my parents arrived in London in 1962, he was kind enough to welcome them in his Rolls Royce and give them accommodation at 3 Canfield Gardens, Finchley Rd. the house he owned. I will never forget Raymond. May he RIP. I always wondered as to how he was. His very good friend Geoffrey Wright use to give me all the news on him. I have not seen Geoffrey for a long while. I did try ringing him but it seems that number I had is no more. This is the first day that
    I have learnt of Raymond’s demise, and it is a shock considering we were of the same age more or less. There were many criticisms of Raymond prior to him leaving UK.
    But, to me he was a most genuine person. I even knew his younger brother Rene. and often wondered as to where he was.
    .

  2. The Raymond I remember loved Latin American music, sometimes he would pick me up from 32 Hogarth Rd, Earls Ct,the building he owned in which I resided at the time 1961. I would get into his then Mini and we would drive off to one of the latin american joints. Once getting there , he would ask if he could play his bongos in the band. He was always made welcome. That was him, turning up to places not letting on who he was. He owned La Discotheque in Warder St, Soho. Raymond loved life, he was good in business and always fair. When I use to visit 3 Canfield Gdns to meet my parents,
    Raymonds then girl friend Odette and their Daughter Vidette also resided in the flat below. I do not know the whereabouts of the two. Geoffrey Wright one of Raymonds staunch friends
    had given me all the gen on the abduction and the rescue more or less to what I have read. Geoffrey also informed me how Raymond negotiated the deal of the Establishment club with David Frost for Peter Cook n Dudley moore.

  3. I would like to get in touch with Rene, Raymonds brother whom I met in the early sixties briefly. He, am sure will remember me as I had introduced him to Jack Dellal for business. I would like to convey my condolences to him about Raymond, Would also like to know where Odette and Vidette are as they lived in the same house 3 Canfield Gardens where my late Parents also resided thanks to Raymond.

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