Jacob Ostreicher, Jewish contractor held in Bolivia since 2011, returns to U.S.

(JNS.org) American-Jewish contractor Jacob Ostreicher, held in Bolivia since 2011, has returned to the U.S.

Jacob Ostreicher. Credit: Judea1 via Wikimedia Commons.

Ostreicher, a 54-year-old Brooklyn native, traveled to Bolivia in December 2010 to oversee rice production and was arrested in June 2011 on suspicion of money laundering and criminal organization. No formal charges were ever been brought against him, but he spent 18 months in prison before being released on bail in December 2012, after which point he remained in Bolivia on house arrest.

“With happiness, we are informing the community of Israel that our dear uncle… has already left the iron curtain in Bolivia, and is now, with G-d’s great mercy, here in America,” Ostreicher’s nephew Moshe wrote in an email, The Algemeiner reported Monday. 

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind tweeted, “With thanks to G-d, I am *thrilled* that Jacob Ostreicher is finally home in America!” A source cited by The Algemeiner said an “operation” to return Ostreicher to his family took place Sunday night. The Lakewood Scoop website cited an Ostreicher family member who said he was kidnapped in Bolivia, and dropped off at an undisclosed location in the U.S. when a ransom was paid.

Posted on December 16, 2013 and filed under Rabbis.