Hostage-taking, extortion case: man jailed for 7 years

DUBAI - A Lebanese man who took an American woman hostage in the car park of Deira City Centre and flaunting a syringe threatened to inject her with a poisonous yellow liquid unless she paid him $50,000, was sentenced yesterday by the Dubai Court of First Instance to seven years in prison, to be followed by deportation.

By Hani M Bathish

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Published: Mon 26 May 2003, 11:54 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 11:09 PM

The court was told that the 35-year-old American housewife was followed by Yousef M.M., 26, when she got out of the shopping mall. As she tried to start the car the accused got into it and asked her to keep calm, saying he was armed.

The accused asked the woman to drive out of the parking area. As they neared Safa Park the accused demanded $50,000 from the woman before he would let her go. The woman told him she was not carrying that much money. The man asked her to drive home because he wanted to speak to her husband.

When they reached the woman's house, the convict led L.S. out of the car with the syringe pointed to her neck. The woman's husband opened the door in utter shock and they were both led into the house.

The husband was asked by the convict to lock their children in a room so they would not see what was happening. However, while pretending that he was locking the children in a room, the husband actually asked them to go over to the neighbour's house and alert police.

As the convict pressed his demand for $50,000, the woman's told him he did not have such a large amount of money and asked if he could call his family in the United States to arrange payment. He pretended to dial his home number in the US and then told the hostage-taker that there was no response from the other end.

In the meantime, a police team arrived the place and rang the door bell. The convict asked the woman's husband to answer the door. However, instead of going to the door the man jumped upon the convict and knocked the syringe out of his hand. The convict grabbed the woman and placed a knife on her throat, but the husband together with police officers managed to subdue the man and disarm him before he could do any more harm.

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