x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Gang held woman for Dh10,000 ransom

Three men kidnapped a woman and held her to ransom for Dh10,000, hears court.

DUBAI // A Chinese gang kidnapped a woman and forced her family to pay a Dh10,000 ransom, a court heard.

Five men drove up alongside the woman, also from China, as she was walking back to her home in Al Mutainah.

“The door to the back seat opened up and a man asked me directions to Al Ghurair Centre,” recalled the woman, 34.

As she approached they grabbed her and bundled her into the vehicle before blindfolding her with duct tape and tying her hands with plastic cables.

“They drove for about an hour and a half before pulling over and taking me into an apartment which I later found out was in Sharjah,” she recalled.

The gang demanded she pay them Dh10,000 but she did not have the money and was forced to call her sister in China and ask her to transfer Dh10,000 to a bank account in China. Her sister did this and a person in China then rewired the money to a UAE bank account so the kidnappers could collect it.

“They took me with them to claim the money transfer, but while being there, the exchange office employee noticed I was not acting normally. He asked one of the kidnappers who was with me to present identification but when he could not he tried to run off and drag me with him.

“The exchange employee held on to me and the kidnapper ran off by himself.”

The woman said the gang stole her purse, which had Dh5,000 in it, as well as her passport.

Prosecutors said the incident took place on September 19, 2009. Later that month police arrested three men suspected of being part of the gang, but two others remain on the run.

At the Criminal Court ST, 35, WT, 34, and YZ, 37, denied charges of kidnap and robbery.

A verdict is expected in December 17.

salamir@thenational.ae