x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Kidnappers in Dubai jailed after forcing family to pay Dh10,000 in ransom

The Chinese men blindfolded and tied a woman before forcing her into the back of a car, after pretending to ask her for directions.

DUBAI // Four years after three men kidnapped and held a woman for ransom, a court has sentenced them to prison.

The Chinese men – S T, 35, W T, 34, and Y Z, 37 – were in a car with two others, who are still at large, on September 19, 2009.

They approached H Y, 34, who was walking home to Al Mutainah, and asked her for directions.

“The door to the back seat opened up and a man asked me about the direction to Al Ghurair Centre,” said the woman, who is also Chinese.

She was pulled inside the car, blindfolded with duct tape and had her hands tied with plastic.

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

The kidnappers demanded she pay a ransom of Dh10,000. When she told them she did not have it, she was forced to call her sister in China and have her transfer the money to a Chinese bank account.

When her sister confirmed the transfer, the account holder wired the money to the kidnappers in Dubai on the same day.

“They took me with them to claim the money transfer, but while there the exchange office employee noticed I was not behaving normally,” the woman said.

“He started asking one of the kidnappers who was with me to present identification records, but he had none with him and tried to pull me outside.

“The employee didn’t let him, so he left me there and ran away.”

She said the kidnappers took her purse, containing Dh5,000 and her passport. The men were tracked down and arrested in September last year.

In court last November, the three denied charges of kidnap and robbery. But on Tuesday they were convicted and each sentenced to three years in jail, to be followed by deportation.

salamir@thenational.ae