x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Man, 26, charged in fatal beating of restaurant owner

Entrepreneur's body had been dumped in a shallow grave near Al Ain International Airport.

AL AIN // Murder squad detectives have charged a man with killing an Indian entrepreneur whose body was dumped in a shallow grave near Al Ain International Airport. The 26-year-old man, identified only as MDB, who also is from India, is accused of beating Parappurath Moidu to death with a club after they drove to MDB's remote farm to discuss a business deal. Police said MDB had been attempting to persuade Moidu to invest in his business.

Moidu vanished on May 31 - a day before his 60th birthday - and his battered body was found four days later, about 200 metres from the Al Ain airport road bridge. Moidu, from the Malappuram district of Kerala, moved to the UAE 38 years ago and ran two restaurants and two grocery stores with his brothers Hamza and Hydros Haji. Yesterday police said the suspect, driving a red car, had picked up Moidu at his restaurant in the Jimi district of Al Ain and driven him to the farm.

The two fought there and MDB struck Moidu several times about the head with a wooden bat, police said. MDB searched Moidu as he lay unconscious and bleeding on the ground, officials say. He took Dh60, 10 Omani riyals and a mobile telephone before wrapping Moidu in a blanket and continuing the attack, said Col Hamad al Amimi, the head of Al Ain Police. MDB then placed Moidu's body in the boot of his car and drove to a place near the airport, where he dumped the body in a shallow, sandy grave, officials say.

Col al Amimi said police were alerted by a baker at one of Moidu's restaurants. The witness said he saw his employer climb into a red car with another Indian man. When he attempted to reach Moidu on his mobile phone the next day and found it switched off, he notified the police and provided them with a description of the suspect and vehicle. Al Ain Police are preparing to transfer the findings of their investigation to prosecutors.

chamilton@thenational.ae ealghalib@thenational.ae