Manama, Oct 28 (IANS) An Indian, allegedly tortured and held hostage in Bahrain by five Bangladeshis for a paltry BHD800 ransom (about $2,000), was rescued with the help of his co-worker, an Indonesian woman, in an undercover police operation.
The five Bangladeshi carpenters are now standing trial in connection with last year’s abduction of the 28-year-old Indian in Isa Town, about eight kilometre from capital Manama.
The Indian was a cold store worker with the 30-year-old woman, who was a housemaid. She first alerted their boss to the fact that he was being held hostage, Gulf Daily News reported.
The kidnappers allegedly dragged their victim into a white pick-up truck while he was leaving the shop where he worked, blindfolded him and took him to a labour camp. He was locked inside a room, chained to a bed and tortured Aug 20 last year.
He was told that he would be cut into pieces if he did not come up with the money before being allowed to contact a friend to arrange payment. However, the friend informed the housemaid, who alerted her boss.
Police were called and a sting operation was planned in which the woman was supposed to deliver money to the kidnappers to secure the abducted man’s release.
In her first attempt, however, the woman panicked and the police operation had to be aborted prompting the kidnappers to threaten to kill the Indian hostage. “The first time I went to give them the money, I drove off quickly after I saw a pick-up truck coming towards me because I was terrified,” she told prosecutors.
“The kidnappers then called me and said that they were going to kill him because I did not follow their plan, but I told them I was scared.
“Policemen told me to meet the kidnappers a second time, but to stay a bit longer so they could arrest the suspects.”
She finally delivered cash in an envelope as part of an undercover operation in which officers swooped once the money changed hands. The abducted man was held captive for 19 hours before being rescued.
All five alleged kidnappers, who have been charged with abduction, torture and theft, have been granted bail. However, one of them appeared in the High Criminal Court for the first hearing to plead not guilty.
The trial was adjourned until Nov 13 to summon the rest of the suspects.