x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

I am in complete happiness, says kidnap victim

The emotional return home for Mohammed Khamis Majed was broadcast on television.

Mohammed Khamis Majed, 29, was greeted by family members and the minister, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, upon arrival in the UAE Wednesday. The former Special Forces officer had been held to ransom by an armed gang in Nigeria since January 21.
Mohammed Khamis Majed, 29, was greeted by family members and the minister, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, upon arrival in the UAE Wednesday. The former Special Forces officer had been held to ransom by an armed gang in Nigeria since January 21.

ABU DHABI // Television viewers shared the joy of Mohammed Khamis Majed and his family last night as they celebrated the Emirati businessman's first day of freedom after a 50-day kidnap ordeal.

Extended footage of Mr Majed's emotional return home was broadcast on Olum Al Dar on Abu Dhabi TV.

Hugging his mother, his wife and their son Hamdan, 3, a tearful Mr Majed said: "Today I am in complete happiness. Thank God, thank God, thank God, thank God for this blessing. I cannot describe this happiness. I cannot at all."

Mr Majed, 29, from Umm Al Quwain, returned to the UAE by private jet on Wednesday night after being held hostage for nearly two months in Nigeria by a gang demanding a US$5 million ransom for his release. He had travelled to Lagos to complete a business deal.

His family defied the gang's threat to kill him and reported the abduction to UAE authorities. Mr Majed was rescued in a special operation by the Preventive Security and Federal Investigation Department of the Ministry of Interior.

The gang leader and other members were arrested. "They were investigated and referred to the court," the department's director Maj Gen Abdul Aziz Maktoum Al Sharifi said yesterday.

Mr Majed spent time in hospital yesterday for a thorough check-up and treatment for suspected malaria before he was free to celebrate with friends and family.

frahman@thenational.ae

osalem@thenational.ae