x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Sculptor's kidnapping earns prison time for two men

They grabbed her from a hotel and, after beating her, told her she could go free after paying Dh110,000.

DUBAI // Two men were sentenced to prison today for kidnapping, confining, robbing and threatening a sculptor in Deira.

The Criminal Court of First Instance ruled that the Pakistani AM, 32, will spend five years in prison while his compatriot AA, 34, who was further charged with illegal possession of alcohol, was sentenced to three years.

Both men will be deported after their prison terms.

The 34-year-old Chinese sculptor HY was kidnapped for ransom, beaten and assaulted on May 28. The two men said she must pay US$30,000 (Dh110,000) for her release.

Records show that HY went to the Hyatt Regency's Premiere nightclub on that date to meet a friend, but that person stood her up.

"I was waiting for my friend, who didn't show up, so AM bought me a drink and asked me to dance," she told prosecutors. "I declined but we sat and spoke together".

HY then said that as she was leaving, AM offered her a ride home and escorted her to a black SUV parked outside the hotel.

"There was another man in the driver's seat, and AM sat next to me," she said.

As soon as she got into the car AM hit her and tied her up.

"AA hit me on the head, and AM tied my hands and blindfolded me, then gagged me," she said.

She told prosecutors she was taken to a room and beaten with a stick until a Chinese couple entered.

The couple told her she would not be released until she paid the ransom, which she should call China to request from her family.

But all of HY's family members refused to pay, records show. Afterwards the couple decided to allow her to leave and bring the money while holding her belongings, including her passport and work permit, as collateral.

But HY went to a friend's home and contacted, police who found AA and AM.

salamir@thenational.ae