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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 April 2019

British tourist who kidnapped man and demanded one million dirham ransom is jailed

Man threatened to kill Indian victim unless his brother paid alleged debts

A British tourist who lured an Indian man into the country by promising him a job before kidnapping him and demanding a one million dirham ransom for his release has been jailed.

The offender posed as a woman representing a company in Dubai for six months in order to persuade the man, 30, to fly into the UAE, Dubai Criminal Court was told.

But when the victim arrived at Dubai International Airport he was taken to a hotel and held captive by the offender, as part of a plot to settle a debt with the unwitting man's brother.

The kidnapper, 36, even secured a visit visa for the man to ensure he made the journey to Dubai.

But he himself was only in the country on a visit visa, the court heard.

“When I arrived on June 2 of last year, the defendant met me at Dubai International Airport and introduced himself as the public relations officer of the company I would work for before he took me to a hotel,” said the victim.

Once at the hotel, he was told he would not be allowed to leave until his brother, who lived in the UK, paid a 20 million Rupee (Dh1 million) ransom.

“He told me that my brother owed him money and must repay him or instead give him a property, otherwise he would kill me,” said the victim.

When the offender made the demand to the brother, he told his family and police were then alerted.

“We traced the defendant through his mobile phone number and arrested him on June 5 in the lobby of the hotel where he was keeping the victim against his will,” said a police lieutenant.

The British man denied charges of illegal confinement, issuing threats and blackmail when he first appeared before the court last July.

But he was convicted of all charges at the latest hearing and handed a one-year jail sentence, to be followed by deportation.

Updated: April 1, 2019 03:04 PM

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