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Tourist tortured by fake Saudi sheikh in Sharjah

A Saudi man who pretended to be a prince was sentenced to five years for the kidnapping, assault, robbery and wrongul imprisonment of a Dutch tourist.

DUBAI // A fake Saudi prince was jailed for five years today for the kidnap and torture of a Dutch tourist.

JW, 30, believed he was meeting a Saudi sheikh for dinner to do a deal for a large quantity of gold.

Instead, he was kidnapped and taken to an apartment in Sharjah where he was beaten with sticks and forced to strip while being videotaped.

The fake sheikh - the 30-year-old Saudi national, HE - then tried to rape him, but he managed to escape.

The victim told Dubai Criminal Court he had arrived at the Crowne Plaza for the dinner date on December 20 last year with a cheque for US$10 million (Dh36.7m), and waited two hours for HE.

"When he arrived, the prince screamed at me and ordered me to look to the ground as common people are not supposed to look princes in the eye while talking to them," said the Dutchman.

The Saudi then banged the tourist's head on a table and told him he would teach him how to respect a prince.

"He told me I made him wait for a whole week to meet him and ordered me to pay Dh10,000 to make up for his wasted time," said the tourist.

HE then led JW to a restaurant and told him to pay for a dinner that a large group of his friends was enjoying.

One of those friends pulled the tourist's wallet from his pocket and used his credit cards to pay the Dh9,700 bill.

HE and two "bodyguards" then grabbed the Dutchman, bundled him into a car and drove him to Sharjah. During the journey, he was beaten.

After arriving at an apartment, HE ordered his victim to strip naked in front of a video camera. JW refused and was assaulted again, this time with wooden sticks and metal bars, until he gave in to the demand.

The two other men then left the apartment and HE tried to rape the tourist, but he resisted, knocked his attacker to the floor and fled the apartment.

He took a taxi to a friend's apartment in Dubai and told him about his ordeal. His friend took pictures of the injuries and urged him to contact police, which he did three days later.

"I was afraid to call for help as I really thought the man was a Saudi prince," said the tourist.

HE was found guilty of imprisonment, robbery, kidnapping and assault, and sentenced to five years in prison. His accomplices - AF, 31, from Jordan and AA, 34, from Yemen - were jailed for two years.

All three men will be deported after completing their jail terms.

salamir@thenational.ae

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