Muscat: Kidnappers of an Indian worker in Sohar, about 230km north of Muscat, have threatened to kill their hostage if their demand for a ransom is not met by midnight Sunday, according to the victim’s brother.
“We were initially asked to deposit 50,000 Pakistani rupees (Dh1,719) in a bank account in Pakistan which we did but now instead of releasing my brother, they have raised the demand to 5,00,000 rupees,” kidnapped Indian worker Mohammad Hanifa’s brother, Mohammad Abbas, told Gulf News from his hometown of Palakkad, in India’s southern state of Kerala.
The family transferred Rs50,000 to the given bank account in Pakistan through the kidnapped victim’s brother living in Saudi Arabia.
The 28-year-old delivery person with a catering company in Sohar Industrial Estate went missing two days ago and, according to reports in Malayalam language newspapers in India, the family received ransom calls through a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone.
“They made my brother also talk to us and kept beating him while he was talking to us,” Abbas said, adding that it seems that his kidnapped brother’s conditions was deteriorating due to the torture by his kidnappers.
“We are extremely worried for Hanifa’s life and don’t have resources to generate that kind of amount,” the worried brother said over the phone.
The family had initially filed a complaint with the local police in Palakkad but with ransom calls increasing and their newly married brother being tortured, the family has also approached the Royal Oman Police (ROP).
“We have filed a complaint with the police in Sohar,” Abbas confirmed.
“The kidnapped worker’s sponsor has filed the complaint about Hanifa’s kidnap and there seems to be some progress since this morning,” Yousuf Salim, a Sohar-based Indian social worker, told Gulf News.
He said that the Oman police had traced the calls to locations in Sohar. “The kidnappers have changed locations but the police here are close on their heels,” said the social worker, who has extended all help to the family in coordinating all work here in Oman.
“The police are combing through some areas in the north of Oman, including Sohar industrial area, to catch the kidnappers,” he added.
He revealed that Hanifa was kidnapped at the end of the day when he carried the day’s collection to keep at home. “He was reportedly first taken by the kidnappers to his room and, when they couldn’t find money, they kidnapped him,” he revealed.