An Australian TV crew and an Australian mother, Sally Faulkner, have been accused of kidnapping Faulkner's children in Beirut, Lebanon, earlier this month (video below).
Faulkner and a four-person Channel Nine TV crew are charged with abduction at gunpoint, threatening the lives of children and harming them, reports Yahoo! 7 News.
In an alleged surveillance video of the incident, the small children, Noah and Lahela, were kidnapped from their paternal grandmother by masked men and tossed into a car. The kids were reportedly given to Faulkner, but later found by police.
TV reporter Tara Brown and her technical staff Benjamin Williamson, David Ballment and Stephen Rice were arrested along with Faulkner and a child recovery team.
The alleged plan was to snatch Faulkner's children from her ex-husband Ali al-Amin and get the kids back to Brisbane, Australia.
It's not clear what crimes the child recovery team members are charged wth.
Lebanese authorities suspect Channel Nine of paying the child recovery team for the alleged abduction, notes ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Company).
Channel Nine has insisted that its crew is not connected with the child recovery team.
The TV crew was reportedly scheduled to interview Faulkner, who wanted to be reunited with her kids. She says they were taken to Lebanon by al-Amin without her permission.
Colin Chapman said that his child recovery company in Queensland, Australia, did some preliminary work for Faulkner, but was not involved in the alleged incident, which he slammed on 702 ABC Sydney.
"I mean doing it in broad daylight, in a busy street, underneath CCTV cameras [and] tossing grandma around like a sack of potatoes … that's horrific what those kids are exposed to, seeing grandma assaulted in front of them," Chapman stated.
A spokesperson for Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said that the Australian embassy in Beirut is helping Faulkner and the TV crew.
Channel Nine has reportedly hired lawyers in Beirut.