A Spanish court has sought mutual assistance with judicial authorities in Pakistan to record testimonies in a criminal case involving the kidnapping of a British minor in Pakistan, official documents obtained by The Express Tribune revealed.
A ransom of £110,000 was paid in Paris, France to gain the safe release of five-year-old British boy of Pakistani origin Sahil Saeed, who was kidnapped in Jhelum on March 3, 2010. The request for the ransom money was made by the accused kidnappers in Spain.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has sent a letter to Punjab’s Public Prosecution Department, along with an enclosure received by the Embassy of Spain in Islamabad, regarding a request by the Spanish Provincial Court of Tarragona for mutual assistance with judicial authorities in Punjab for necessary action.
Spanish authorities, via Interpol, have made the request to assist them in a criminal case against three accused kidnappers as perpetrators of an offence of kidnapping a minor; an offence of unlawful association; an offence of robbery and intimidation; an offence of housebreaking and eight offences of illegal detention.
According to official documents, videoconference is necessary in order to obtain testimonies from witnesses, including family members present during the kidnapping incident and investigating officers, as evidence for the prosecution at the court hearing.
This petition is urgent given that the accused are in a state of provisional imprisonment, the official documents further stated.
Two Pakistani men, Muhammad Zahid Saleem and Muhammad Sageiz and Romanian national, Gianina Monica Nreua, are accused of acting by mutual agreement with at least four other people of Pakistani origin for conceiving and organising the kidnapping of Sahil.
Sahil and his father, Niqqash Raja Saeed, a British citizen of Pakistani origin, travelled to Jhelum on February 19, 2010 to visit their family.
Four members of the gang struck the Saeed family house armed with rifles and grenades on March 3, 2010, just as Sahil and his father were about to leave for the airport to return to Manchester.
The armed men stole jewelry, mobile phones and cash, before tying the up the family. They told Sahil’s father that they knew he was a businessman and had a business in the UK, and said: “You are going to pay 100,000 pounds and we are taking your son.”
They further warned the family not to contact the police, before whisking Sahil away.
The accused first contacted the family at 4 pm on the same day, from a phone booth in Constanti (Tarragona), Spain and demanded the ransom money.
The process of calls continued till March 14, 2010 and an agreement was reached to pay ransom money of 110,000 pounds in Paris, France.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2012.