Crime Justice

US offers up to $10 million reward for 2 Americans abducted in Afghanistan

Salaam Times and AFP


The US State Department's Rewards for Justice programme is seeking information leading to the location and recovery of American writer Paul Edwin Overby (right) and civil engineer Mark Randall Frerichs (left). [Rewards for Justice]

The US State Department is offering up to $5 million (385 million AFN) each for information leading to the location, recovery and return of two Americans who were abducted in Afghanistan.

The Rewards for Justice programme announced the rewards Wednesday (August 26).

Paul Edwin Overby, Jr.

Author Paul Overby, 77, disappeared in mid-May 2014 in Khost as he was researching a book on the Afghan people.

Prior to his disappearance, Overby suggested that he planned to cross into Pakistan to do further research.

He disappeared as he was trying to arrange to interview the commander of the Haqqani Network, an offshoot of the Taliban that also has ties to the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), said his wife.

Overby is a white male, 5'9" (175cm) tall, and weighs 170 pounds (77kg). He has white hair that may be shaved and has hazel eyes. Overby suffers from an inner-ear canal ailment that requires treatment and medicine.

In May 2018, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) offered a reward of $1 million (77 million AFN) for information leading directly to the safe location, recovery and return of Overby. That reward remains unclaimed.

Mark Randall Frerichs

The second man, civil engineer Mark Frerichs, 58, was kidnapped in late January-early February 2020 after spending a decade in Afghanistan working on construction projects.

At the time of his kidnapping, Frerichs resided in Kabul. He moved to Afghanistan in approximately 2010 and worked on construction projects throughout the country.

Some reports implicate the Haqqani Network in his abduction. The Taliban have denied involvement.

Frerichs is a white male, 5'11" (180cm) tall, and weighs 190 pounds (86kg). He has light brown hair that is balding and may be shaved, hazel eyes and a one-inch scar on his left cheek.

He was last seen wearing black boots, green pants, a green jacket and a silver scarf.

How to receive the rewards?

The availability of any information leading to the location, recovery and return of the two Americans will speak to the improving security situation in Afghanistan.

If you have any information, please contact authorities:

WhatsApp number: 001-202-297-8695


Facebook: @rewardsforjustice

Twitter: @RFJ_Pashto

All tips can remain anonymous.

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One of them has a white beard. It is said that, God respects the white beard. Pakistan's intelligence agency is said to be normally involved in kidnapping foreigners in Afghanistan. They have kidnapped a number of foreigners before this too, so it has to release them.


It is a great shame that terrorists kidnap foreign civilians. One kidnapped man was a writer and was writing a book on Afghans, and the other was an engineer who had served Afghanistan on infrastructural projects for many years. They were not US military soldiers who invaded Afghanistan. Civilians are safe in all countries. Abduction of these Americans is like, if someone from Afghanistan goes to the United States and he is abducted there. We request the kidnappers to free the two American civilians as soon as possible. They are innocent. They have families, and they have wives and children. Both were serving Afghanistan.


The 77-year-old writer may have died, because he was old and was kidnapped seven years ago and they offered $ 1 million reward for him two years ago and there is no information about him yet, but the other engineer who is 58 years old, may be found, because $ 5 million is too much money, and even those who abducted him may become ready to provide information about his location in exchange of money.