UK businessman’s kidnap: Four people charged

‘They held victim captive for over a month’

By Marie Nammour

Published: Thu 29 May 2014, 11:09 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:19 PM

Four Iranian men — a visitor and three runaways — were charged with kidnapping a British-Iranian businessman and holding him captive for over a month with the intention of hurting him.

While three of the accused are on trial in absentia, the fourth admitted in court that he drove the car in which the businessman, identified as Abbas Yazdanpanah Yazdi, was abducted. The 32-year-old driver, identified as R.A., said Yazdi was kidnapped over financial disputes and claimed that he had nothing to do with assaulting or sedating him.

The Public Prosecution asked for the maximum penalty for the accused in its arraignment sheet.

The four accused had an accomplice — believed to be the prime suspect — who died while in custody. The prosecution records did not mention the cause of his death.

The accused faced in the Court of First Instance charges of kidnap, forcible theft, physical assault and putting the victim’s life at risk by injecting him with drugs and covering his face with a drug-laden piece of cloth to sedate him.

Two other Iranians — both visitors, aged 52 and 55 — are accused of aiding and abetting the crime. They allegedly rented a villa, some cars and got new mobile phone numbers. One of them is also accused of possession of the stolen belongings of the businessman. They did not show up in court. The hearing was adjourned to June 15.

According to prosecution records, the incident took place on June 25 last year. The accused allegedly planned the crime for about five months and rented a villa in Al Baraha area, where they devised the plan and assigned roles for each other.

They reportedly monitored the movements of the businessman and acquired tools like gloves, duct tapes, stun gun and drug injections for using in their crime.

On the day of the incident, the accused went to the victim’s workplace and allegedly assaulted him in the parking lot. They reportedly carried him to the back seat of their car, where they sedated him.

The four men then allegedly transported the victim to an Iran-bound boat. They reportedly had a prior agreement with the boat’s captain to sneak the businessman out of the country. They stole the businessman’s four bank cards, two driving licences and other documents.

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