x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Gang kidnapped man for Dh20,000 ransom, Dubai court hears

A gang kidnapped a man and told his mother they would cut off his head unless she paid a ransom of Dh20,000, a court heard today.

DUBAI // A gang kidnapped a man and told his mother they would cut off his head unless she paid a ransom of Dh20,000, a court heard today.

The gang of five ambushed the man as he was returning home on Christmas Day last year before dragging him into a car and taking him to an apartment in Jebel Ali where they tied him to a chair and beat him, before calling his mother and demanding the ransom.

Prosecutors told the Criminal Court that two men approached the 30-year-old and asked for directions, pretending to be lost. As he started talking to them another two men approached from behind and grabbed him.

They drove him to the apartment and tied him onto the chair before all five men assaulted him.

"They took turns slapping me then asked me to empty my pockets so I gave them Dh1,800 and my mobile phones which were all I had on me," the man recalled.

He was then told to give the men the telephone numbers of his relatives so they could demand a ransom. He gave them the numbers of his mother and brother in Bangladesh.

The men called his mother and threatened to cut off her son's head unless she paid them Dh20,000.

The man remained locked up for more than 24 hours without food as his kidnappers negotiated with his mother and brother, both of whom said they did not have that amount of money.

He was then asked to call friends in the UAE. Terrified, he called AA, 35.

"When he called me, he said 'Save me I'm in danger' then the line disconnected," the friend recalled. The friend contacted police, who asked him to arrange a meeting with the kidnappers by pretending he wanted to pay the money.

The friend met three of the kidnappers near a mosque in Jebel Ali and police arrested them. The kidnappers then took police to the room where the man was being held.

Prosecutors said the five men confessed during investigations.

Bangladeshis JA, MR, MA, AH, and MA, all between 25 and 53, were charged with kidnap, locking up a person, and issuing threats to kill.

None of the five appeared at the Criminal Court to enter a plea.

They have been summoned to appear at the next hearing, scheduled for June 6.

salamir@thenational.ae