x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Gang threatened to kill family over Dh40,000 ransom, Dubai court hears

Seven men aged between 25 and 49 were charged with making threats to kill and illegally obtaining money.

DUBAI // A gang threatened to kill a man and his family unless he paid them Dh40,000, a court heard today.

The gang made repeated telephone calls to the man, 33, from India, in which they made the threats and sent him text messages warning him they knew where he lived.

Prosecutors said the gang also told him they knew where his family lived in India and that they too would be targeted if he failed to pay up.

The calls were made during October 2012, the first of them after midnight.

"The caller told me that if I wanted to lived safely I would have to pay Dh40,000, he also said that if I didn't he would ruin the life of my entire family and kill me," recalled the man.

He said he didn't have the money, but the gang continued to call. He refused to answer his phone for five days, but then received a text message telling him the gang knew where he lived.

He then started taking their calls.

"They told me they knew where my family lived in India and that they could have them killed," said the man.

Over the next three days he managed to collect Dh2,000 before meeting with the gang. He gave them the money and an additional Dh100 for their taxi journey, but they warned him he had only one week to produce the rest of the money.

Three days later he reported them to police, who set up a sting operation.

He arranged to meet the gang again, and when he did so the police arrested four of them. A further three were arrested in a raid on their home near Fareej Al Marar.

"After their arrest I received a call from Pakistan from a man who told me that once the defendants were out of jail, they would kill me for reporting them to police," added the man.

Seven Pakistani men aged between 25 and 49 were charged with making threats to kill and illegally obtaining money. At the Criminal Court they denied all charges.

The next hearing was scheduled for September 16.

salamir@thenational.ae