x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai resident in China hunger strike

Deepak Raheja, a Dubai resident, has been stranded in Shanghai since December 14.

DUBAI // An Indian businessman from Dubai who was held hostage by Chinese traders three months ago yesterday began a hunger strike in Shanghai to protest against his drawn-out debt trial.

Deepak Raheja, a Dubai resident, and Shyam Sunder Agrawal, from India, have been stranded in Shanghai since December 14 when their boss, the Yemeni owner of Euro Global Trading, allegedly fled China owing US$1.5 million (Dh5.5m) to traders in Zhejiang province.

They say they will kill themselves if they are not free to go in a week.

Mr Raheja said they were thrown out of their hotel room and slept on the footpath as they could not pay the bill. He has diabetes but has not eaten properly as hotel management stopped providing food.

His Russian wife, Natalia Raheja, lives in Bur Dubai with their three children.

Mrs Raheja said the creditors held the two in the cold without clothes.

"He was not given food or water and faced daily beatings. He went through hell for two weeks. His fingers and leg became numb."

The two were released after Indian diplomats intervened, but they are still awaiting trial.

frahman@thenational.ae