x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Seven arrested for kidnapping Emirati

Seven people are being held for holding an Emirati businessman hostage in Nigeria for 50 days, but the "masterminds" are still at large.

Seven people have been arrested in Nigeria for kidnapping Mohammed Khamis Majed, 29, the Umm Al Quwain businessman who was held hostage for 50 days, according to the news agency AFP.

He was rescued in an operation led by the Ministry of Interior and reunited with his family shortly after.

The gang demanded US$5 million (Dh18.3m) in ransom, which authorities said was denied. Marilyn Ogar, of the Nigerian secret police, said four men, believed to be the gang's masterminds, were still at large.

Mr Majed was lured to Nigeria for a phantom business deal with fake company Finuche Investments.

He was abducted on January 21, just a day into his trip.

The former Special Forces officer was rescued in an operation by the preventive security and federal investigation department of the Ministry of Interior

He stayed in Zayed Military Hospital for regular check ups before being released to return to his wife and three-year-old son Hamdan.

Speaking about his ordeal to The National, Mr Majed said he was fed fruit by his captors but lost 30 kilograms during his time as hostage.

“I was kept in the middle of a jungle. It was like an Amazon forest. It was so thick you couldn’t see anything from the top. Even a helicopter cannot find out that someone is staying down [on the ground].”

newsdesk@thenational.ae