A Kuwaiti businessman has been abducted reportedly by a gang in Iraq where he was purchasing sheep, his family said.
Khalid Abdul Razaq Al Sarhan, 53, regularly travelled to Iraq to buy sheep and export them to Kuwait via Iran, his brother, Abdul Lateef, said.
“My brother is a retired Ministry of Interior employee who traded in sheep and had several butcheries,” he said. “He left Kuwait two weeks ago and stayed in Nassiriyah as usual to purchase the sheep. He was scheduled to return on Wednesday last week, but he called to say he was doing fine, but would stay some extra days because of his transactions,” Abdul Lateef said, quoted by Kuwaiti daily Al Rai on Thursday.
However, on Sunday evening, Khalid’s wife received a phone call demanding a one million dollar ransom.
“The man spoke with an Iraqi accent and told my sister-in-law that her husband had been kidnapped and that he would be freed only if the family paid one million dollars. The caller called again on Tuesday and threatened that my brother would be killed if we failed to pay the ransom,” Abdul Lateef said.
The brother said that the interior and foreign ministries were contacted and that officials launched a series of contacts hoping to help release the kidnapped Kuwaiti.
“I myself called the Kuwaiti charge d’affaires in Baghdad Khalid Al Qanai and he confirmed there were contacts with the Iraqi interior and foreign ministries to try to locate and rescue my brother,” he said.
In December, several Qataris who were on a hunting trip in southern Iraq were abducted from their desert camp by unidentified gunmen.
The Qatari falconry expedition had crossed into Iraqi territory with official permits from the Iraqi interior ministry.
Qatar and fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates called on the Iraqi government to "take decisive and immediate measures" to free the Qataris.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also urged the Iraqi government to do "everything possible to ensure their prompt and safe return.”
Source: Gulf News