Mother held in plot to kidnap son from foster parents

NEWPORT BEACH – The estranged mother of a 7-year-old boy was arrested Friday in connection with a plot to kidnap the boy from his foster parents and smuggle him to Mexico so they could be reunited, authorities said.

Niveen Ismail, 43, of Newport Beach is jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail on suspicion of solicitation of kidnapping a child under the age of 14. Her son and his foster parents were placed into protective custody as soon as police heard about the kidnapping plot, said Sgt. Evan Sailor of the Newport Beach Police Department.

According to Newport Beach police, Ismail had been in touch with a private investigator and offered to pay him to kidnap her biological son from his foster parents. The couple is in the process of adopting the boy, Sailor said.

The plan was, according to police, that the private investigator would take the boy to Tijuana, where he would rendezvous with the mother. The mother would then pay off the investigator in exchange for the boy, Sailor said.

The investigator contacted police, and detectives set up a sting to catch the woman in the act.

An undercover police detective met with Ismail in Newport Beach on Friday afternoon to talk about the kidnapping plot and money. Ismail agreed to the deal and was arrested, Sailor said.

Investigators believe Ismail may have shopped her plan around to other people before finding the private investigator.

Police are asking anyone who was contacted by Ismail or is aware of anyone being solicited to contact Newport Beach police detective Penny Freeman at 949-644-3776 or the Newport Beach Police Department’s hotline at 800-550-NBPD.

Information may be left anonymously.

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