Gang member who abducted British-Iranian businessman in Dubai admits guilt in court

Iranian man is one of three gang members in custody but three others are still at large following the disappearance of Abbas Yazasanpanah Yazdi, who is believed to have been taken to Iran.

DUBAI // A member of a gang that allegedly abducted and smuggled a British-Iranian businessman out of the UAE pleaded guilty to kidnapping and stealing money from the man, on Wednesday.

R A, 32, is one of three men in custody – alongside K J, 52, and N K, 55 – but H A, B S and A M, are still at large following the disappearance in June last year of Abbas Yazasanpanah Yazdi, who is believed to have been taken to Iran.

The men, who are all Iranian, have been charged with kidnapping, theft, hiding stolen property, assault and endangering life.

R A pleaded not guilty at Dubai Criminal Court to the charges of hiding stolen property, assault and endangering life but told presiding judge Maher Salamah that he drove the car that was used to kidnap the businessman.

Four credit cards, a health insurance card, a British driving licence and a Dubai licence were stolen from Mr Yazdi.

The businessman is thought to have been kidnapped and taken to Iran to gather evidence against Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was arrested after being accused of inciting unrest after the re-election in 2009 of the former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to an Iranian opposition figure in London.

Dubai lawyer Gen Essam Al Humaidan said that State Security had been working for months to expose the perpetrators and unveil the details of their crime.

Records show that, five months before the kidnapping, the gang rented a villa in Al Baraha and used it as base for its operations.

Prosecutors claim the men hid the rented cars used to monitor and kidnap the victim and they also stocked up on items for the crime, such as gloves, ropes, duct tape, taser guns and syringes filled with sedatives.

They waited for an opportune moment and kidnapped Mr Yazdi while he was in his work car park. He was subdued with a sedative before being tied up and put in the back seat of the getaway car.

Records show that the gang put the victim on a boat bound for Iran after they struck a deal with its captain.

The Attorney General said: “In his confessions R A revealed all the details of kidnapping Yazdi, from the start of planning the crime overseas to the execution of the plan.”

The other two members of the gang in custody, K J and N K, did not appear at court to enter a plea.

Judge Salamah adjourned the case until June 15 for them to appear and enter pleas.

Published: May 28, 2014 04:00 AM


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