May 27, 2006, Orlando, FL - Orlando-based AQMI Strategy Corporation has confirmed the release of three U.S. Citizens who had been illegally detained since Friday, May 19 by the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The three individuals are:
The three were released with no charges filed and left Kinsasha on a commercial flight. Frank Amodeo, President of AQMI, spoke to Joe Robinson while in flight. "Joe borrowed a credit card from the pilot to place calls to his family and our office. We were all very relieved to hear his voice." There is a specially equipped AQMI jet standing by with a psychiatrist on board as well as medical personnel specializing in tropical diseases. "Joe appeared to be in good health and good spirits, considering the ordeal he's been through, but we are taking no chances," added Amodeo.
The men are part of a team providing high-level consulting and security services to Presidential candidate, Dr. Oscar Kashala, certified as one of the candidates for the Presidency of the DRC in its closely watched, first-ever democratic election to be held on July 30, 2006.
"It will take a couple of days to get them back on U.S. soil," said Mr. Amodeo. "After reuniting them with their families and allowing them to decompress for as long as necessary, AQMI will provide all of the details of this stressful international crisis. We would like to thank those in President Kabila's government who respect the rule of law and allowed our employees to be vindicated. They were released with no fines, bribes or ransom being paid which often is required.
AQMI had hundreds of men and women around the world working to secure their release. "Our teams worked around the clock and received huge support from the U.S. State Department and it's law enforcement divisions, the U.S. Embassy in Kinsasha, the European Union, the United Nations, Interpol, the Catholic Church, the Senators from Florida and Virginia, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and a variety of Humanitarian organizations and their people who helped even at great personal risk," Amodeo added. "We also want to acknowledge the assistance of the two government affairs firms, New Grange, based in Boston, and Washington D.C. based Dutko Worldwide.
All three of the returning former captives request that all communications with them and their families be channeled through AQMI. Additionally, Robinson added, "The one thing we must make sure of is that Dr. Kashala wins the DRC Presidential Election. His candidacy represents the best opportunity for true democratic change in the Congo."
AQMI agents and appropriate U.S. Embassy personnel will greet Mr. Robinson, Mr. Billings and Mr. Taylor when they arrive in Europe.