Two arrested over Al Ain taxi killing

Police arrest two suspects over grisly murder as colleagues of the slain driver gather in front of the city's courthouse to protest what they say is a potentially unsafe working environment.

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AL AIN // Two men were arrested and charged with murder yesterday after a taxi driver was found strangled and stabbed to death in his cab.

The two men, both Bangladeshis, confessed to the murder under interrogation and said the victim had put up a struggle during a robbery, police said.

Video: Taxi drivers demand a safer work environment

Last Updated: June 12, 2011 UAE

They were held only 14 hours after the body of Mohammed Enamulhaq, 28, a Bangladeshi driver with Tawasul, was found in his taxi near the Eid Mosque in the Markhaniya district of Al Ain in the early hours of Saturday.

Police attributed the swift identification and arrests of the two men to “secret informants and a diligent police investigation”. They have been referred to public prosecution.

Mr Enamulhaq’s friends had become concerned when the driver failed to return to the company accommodation and did not answer his mobile phone. They asked Tawasul dispatchers to find the location of his taxi using its GPS.

Police received a call at 1.30am on Saturday to say that the body had been found, and officers sped to the scene.
Mr Enamulhaq had multiple stab wounds to his chest and had been strangled with his seatbelt, his hands secured with his company uniform tie.

“Officers on the scene immediately requested that CID officers and a forensics unit be dispatched to the scene,” police said yesterday.

Mr Enamulhaq’s colleagues said they were elated by the speed of the arrests, but surprised that the two men charged were Bangladeshi.

Several taxi drivers gathered outside Al Ain courthouse and the prosecutor’s office yesterday chanting: “Give them to us! We will murder them!”

The victim’s elder brother, Alom, expressed his gratitude to police for quickly making arrests. He said he wanted those responsible to die.

“I want to see these people executed for what they did to my brother,” he said. “Sharia and the laws of the UAE are very clear. If you kill someone then you should be killed. That is justice, that is what I want.”

Drivers say that although they cannot recall a taxi driver having been killed before while working in Al Ain, physical attacks are common.Three months ago, Ishtaq Khan, a Pakistani driver also employed by Tawasul, was stabbed in the shoulder after picking up two young men at Al Ain Mall.

“They asked me to drive them to Al Khrais. When we got there, the fare was Dh60 but they didn’t have any money. We got out of the taxi and began to argue, then one of them pulled out a knife and stabbed me in the shoulder. Then they ran away.

“I called 999 and told them what happened and they sent me an ambulance, police and CID officers. That was three months ago, and I never heard anything back from the police, so I don’t think they were caught.”

On the same night Mr Enamulhaq was killed, Lixyn Mp, an Indian taxi driver, was confronted in his cab by two teenagers and a man with a knife.

“I picked them up at Shabia,” Mr Mp said. “They wanted to go to Al Jimi Mall. They looked like they were 15, 16, and 20 years old.

“The 20-year-old started smoking in the taxi. When I told him not to, he started cursing me, saying bad things about my mother.

Then he pulled out a silver knife and held it to my neck and was shouting at me. I was very afraid. I stayed quiet while he finished his cigarette until we got to the mall. Then they paid me for the ride and got out."