• Dumped in a field tied to a tree before £1.5m ransom could be paid

• Markus Wurth abducted from apartment on family estate near Frankfurt

• 50-year-old is son of Reinhard Wuerth, estimated to be worth over £5billion

• Kidnappers thought to have panicked on learning of huge police response

• Markus was later found tied to a tree in a wooded area 60 miles away

The Daily Mail today reported that Police in Germany are hunting kidnappers who abducted the son of one of the world’s richest men and left him tied to a tree in a forest.

Markus Wuerth, 50, whose industrialist father Reinhard employs 66,000 people and has a personal fortune estimated at more than £5billion, was seized by masked men yesterday from his own apartment on the family estate near Frankfurt.

He has been disabled since childhood because of a vaccination that went wrong, and lives in a home for disabled people.

When he did not turn up for lunch with his parents they went out looking for him and hours later received a ransom demand in euros for the equivalent of £1.5million.

Some 40 police officers and 50 local firefighters took part in an initial search with sniffer dogs and after the ransom demand was received police sealed off the area and began a nationwide search.

Officers believe the kidnappers panicked when they learned that a massive operation to find him was launched.

He was later found tied to a tree in a wooded area near Wuerzburg, around 60 miles from where he was seized.

He was rescued unharmed and returned to his family – whose businesses in metal, timber and engineering turn over £7billion in revenues annually.

In a statement, police said: ‘A 50-year-old man was initially reported missing on Wednesday afternoon,’ they said in a statement.

‘Intensive search measures were initiated by the police. A little later, the wealthy parents of the missing person received a ransom note in the millions. No money was transferred, however.

‘The crime victim was safely found this morning in a wooded area near Würzburg…Investigations into the perpetrators continue,’

Reinhard Wuerth, 80, took over his father’s tiny wholesale screw business at 19 and built it into the Adolf Würth Group which posted record $13 billion in sales in 2013.