Dubai, May 28 (Emirates 24x7 : Four Syrians allegedly kidnapped a trader, impersonating as police offcers, and sought a ransom to release him, the Dubai Criminal Court heard.
They allegedly also tied up the victim, beat him with an iron rod and threatened his wife to hand over Dh180,000 and took his signature on a blank paper. However, the accused deny kidnapping and instead told investigating officers that the 'victim' owed them money, which they had handed over to him because he claimed to know 'how to double money'.
The accused are AAK, 36, businessman; his brother HAK, salesman, 25; MMT, security officer; and AMK, 40, representative.
The victim, OAA, 54, trader, said that on September 27, 2011 at around 9am when he was heading from his house at Frij Marar to his work, people in a red car stopped him. They asked him to enter their car after showing him an ID card printed in English.
“I obeyed them and sat in the back seat. Two of them sat next to me on either side. As they passed Murraqqabat area and the Dubai Police Headquarters driving towards Sharjah, I asked them where they are taking me to. One of them, who claimed that he is a lieutenant, asked me not to talk and said he is from Ajman Police. Then he talked over the phone and asked for a police patrol. Later the other three in the car told him that a police car is on its way towards us. They stopped in front of a yellow building and asked me to get out of the car to wait for the patrol, claiming that their office is in the building. They asked me to go with them to the office. I moved with them. They took me to the third floor and entered a flat. The moment I got into the flat, one of them locked the door and told me that they are not CID but thieves who want money. When I tried to open the door, they beat me with sticks and hands until I fell unconscious.
“When I woke up I was in a pool of blood and my hands and legs were tied up. They asked me to call my wife and they threatened her that they would kill me if she does not pay them $400,000. They asked her to transfer $300,000 to Syria and they gave her AAK’s name to transfer the amount. My wife told them that she does not have the amount and that the only thing we own is the house. AAK asked her to sell all properties and arrange the amount. They forced me to sign on a blank paper,” he testified.
AAK tortured the victim with an iron rod and made his wife and son his cries of pain. “His brother HAK pointed a knife at my neck while asking my wife not to call the police. I told them that my wife does not know how to sell property and told them that I need to call a relative who could do that. They agreed and I talked to my relative not in Arabic and asked him in coded language to notify the police. My relative Ahmad understood the situation and he called the police. Two days later and on the day they said they had decided to kill me, police came and arrested three of them at dawn,” he testified.
Police confiscated the tools they used as well as money. The fourth accused, who was performing Fajr prayer at the time, surrendered to Dubai Police.
The victim’s friend MSA, 42, Sudanese, testified that he received a call from Sudan informing him about the victim having been kidnapped and that he would be released only if a ransom was paid.
“I notified the police and gave them the number of my friend back in Sudan who had informed me,” he testified.
Captain Khaled Ashkar testified that the police investigated the notification and reached one of the accused. In co-ordination with Ajman police, the location where the victim was confined was identified and the accused were arrested.
HAK claimed that his brother-- the main accused AAK -- told him that the victim had swindled him and so he kidnapped him to get back his money.
The accused claimed that the money confiscated from the flat belonged to the victim whereas the victim denied that the money belonged to him. The accused claimed that they kidnapped OAA as he had swindled them.
When asked by the police why they did not notify the police about that, they said that a lawyer had told them that they cannot prove the victim owed them money, so they decided to get back their money by force.
The main accused, AAK, testified that he met OAA six months ago via a friend called Othman. “OAA claimed he had the ability of doubling money, so I gave him Dh180,000 in installments. After sometime I realised that he is a swindler so I asked him to return my money. One day he visited me in my house in Ajman and I asked him to pay the amount. I prevented him from leaving the house. My brother was in the house and saw the brawl. I confined him and then called my friends who came and helped me controlling him. I asked him to call his relative in Sudan to transfer Dh180,000 against releasing him,” he testified.
HAK repeated his brother’s story as well as that of MMT and AMK who all denied kidnapping OAA from Dubai or claiming that they are from the CID but they rather helped AAK in confining OAA who had willingly come to AAK’s house in Ajman.
Criminal Evidences reported that out of the confiscated money, 49 notes of Dh1,000 value were forged. Medicine reported that victim sustained first degree burns in his wrists and legs and bruises around his right eye.