x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Travel agent locked tourist up for overstaying his visa, Dubai court hears

Police said the manager confessed to locking up the tourist, saying he was tired of trying to contact him.

DUBAI // An errant tourist who was kidnapped by an angry travel agent after overstaying his visa tried to break out of the company's office but tripped and fell three storeys to a balcony below, a court heard today.

He was found by the office cleaner, bleeding, and police were notified.

Prosecutors told the Criminal Court that the tourist, from Pakistan, went missing after arriving in the UAE on a visa issued through the travel agency. When he failed to return on his set date the company was fined.

His refusal to return the company's calls prompted the manager ME, 57, also from Pakistan, to track him down. Finding him in Al Aweer he managed to lure the tourist back to the travel agency offices and locked him in, before leaving the premises.

The tourist tried to escape through the window, on the fourth floor, but tripped and fell to a first floor balcony, injuring himself. A cleaner with a spare key to the office found him hours later.

"I opened the company's door to start cleaning and noticed the window open, when I looked down I saw a man on the first floor bleeding," testified the cleaner SA, 26, from Pakistan.

He called the manager and told him what he had found. Police were then called.

Police said the manager confessed to locking up the tourist, saying he was tired of trying to contact him. He said the tourist had been avoiding him since his visa expired.

"He did not renew it nor did he pay his fines for over staying and then he disappeared," police quoted the manager as saying.

The manager was charged with locking up a person.

He was not present in court to enter a plea.

The next hearing was scheduled for July 4 to summon the manager.

 

salamir@thenational.ae