Sahil Saeed's kidnap in Pakistan was 'plotted in Spain'
Published: 14th May 2012 15:23:04
A married couple plotted the kidnapping of a five year-old UK boy in Pakistan from a Spanish town, a court has heard.
Sahil Saeed, of Oldham, was visiting his grandmother's home in the Punjab region when he was snatched during a robbery on 4 March 2010.
He was released after 12 days when a £110,000 ransom was paid by his family.
Appearing in Tarragona, Spain, Muhammad Zahid Saleem, his wife Gianina Monica Neruja and flatmate Muhammad Sageiz denied charges of kidnap, conspiracy.
The trio also deny charges of robbery and trespass as well as eight charges of unlawful arrest in connection with the case.
Mr Saleem and Mr Sageiz, from Pakistan and Ms Neruja, from Romania, lived in Tarragona before their arrests. They have been in custody awaiting trial since 16 March 2010.
Prosecutor Maria Jose Osuna said: "Together with at least four other people of Pakistani origin, Muhammad Zahid Saleem, Gianina Monica Neruja and Muhammad Sageiz designed, organised and carried out the kidnapping of the British minor Sahil Saeed.
"The whole operation was directed by the defendant Muhammad Zahid Saleem, who had gone to his country at the end of 2009 and in February for that purpose."
Ms Osuna told the court that Sahil and his father, Raja Saeed, had been saying farewell to their family when four masked men carrying assault rifles and hand grenades struck.
She said they beat members of Sahil's family - including his grandmother and cousin - "without distinction of age".
"At one point they turned to Mr Raja Saeed and said they knew he was a businessman and they knew he and his father had a business in the United Kingdom," she said.
"They said, 'You are going to pay us £100,000, we are taking your son with us now'.
"They pointed a gun in his face and, when he told them they were making a mistake, they pounced on him, filled his mouth with cloth and tied it behind his head, telling him, 'If you try to contact the police or involve them we will kill him [Sahil]'."
The prosecutor told the court the men then left with Sahil in the taxi that had been meant to take the boy and his father to the airport from where they had been due to return to Manchester.
She said the men also stole 1,9000 rupees, two phones, a laptop, two watches and a gun.
The court heard that Sahil's uncle had been called from a phone box in Constanti, near Tarragona on the afternoon of 4 March, 2010. Two days later Sahil's father received another call from Spain informing him that the gang knew that he had contacted the police.
Mr Saeed was told that the ransom had doubled because of this contact, although the amount was later settled at £110,000.
The gang told him to return to the UK. Mr Saeed was told the ransom would increase if it was not paid by 15 March and that he would have to pay an additional £100,000 if he wanted to speak to his son to confirm that he was alive.
The case continues.
At 13:57:23 in SportDavid Gilbert admitted he had been outclassed after his World Championship campaign came to an abrupt end with a 10-4 defeat by last year's Crucible runner-up Barry Hawkins.
At 13:56:11 in EnglandA baby squirrel was found "nesting" in the thick woollen fleece of a sheep in Suffolk, its owner said.
At 13:52:21 in SportThe British Horseracing Authority will assess Chelmsford City Racecourse's application to host fixtures in 2015.
At 13:46:17 in EnglandA 25-year-old man found dead at a house in Lincoln has been named.
At 13:42:47 in ScotlandPlans to reduce the number of payday lenders on the high street are being discussed at Scotland's first payday lending summit in Glasgow.
At 13:41:40 in SportJersey's Team Jets could have an easier path to promotion to English Netball's Premiership Three after the withdrawal of one of their play-off opponents.
At 13:39:52 in WorldAuthorities in Australia are examining material washed ashore to determine if it is related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
At 13:36:05 in SportLast year's runner-up Barry Hawkins beat David Gilbert 10-4 to reach the second round of the World Championships at the Crucible.
At 13:35:44 in EnglandVisitors to part of the East Yorkshire coast have been warned to look out for live ammunition after the army bomb squad had to carry out a controlled explosion on a beach.
At 13:35:02 in BusinessBoeing's total revenues rose 8% to $20.5bn (£12.2bn) in the first quarter, driven by an increase in commercial aircraft deliveries.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Sahil Saeed's kidnap in Pakistan was 'plotted in Spain' [Online] (Updated 14th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1428448/Sahil-Saeeds-kidnap-in-Pakistan-was-plotted-in-Spain [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
A baby squirrel was found "nesting" in the thick woollen fleece of a sheep in Suffolk, its owner said.
David Gilbert admitted he had been outclassed after his World Championship campaign came to an abrupt end with a 10-4 defeat by last year's Crucible runner-up Barry Hawkins.
Authorities in Australia are examining material washed ashore to determine if it is related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
The director of care at a children's hospice has been cleared of professional misconduct over the way she dealt with a dying teenager.
Three people have appeared in court charged in connection with an incident at a loyalist protest camp in north Belfast.