3 Indian nationals kidnapped Bangladeshi worker for money: Lebanese police

Lebanese security forces say the kidnapping highlights the ability of overseas workers to form active gangs. (Shutterstock photo)
Updated 16 August 2018
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3 Indian nationals kidnapped Bangladeshi worker for money: Lebanese police

  • The 41-year-old worker was kidnapped and tortured by his Indian captors, say police
  • Three Indian nationals have been arrested and charged in court

BEIRUT:  A Bangladeshi man kidnapped by Indian workers in Lebanon was the victim of a ransom plot, Lebanese internal security forces said.

The 41-year-old worker was kidnapped as he was heading to work in the coastal region of Jounieh.

Security forces identified the vehicle used in the kidnapping and raided a property in the Ghazir district the following day.

The kidnap victim was found blindfolded and handcuffed inside a bathroom.

Two 31-year-old Indian nationals were arrested at the property. The 33-year-old ringleader of the gang was arrested in the nearby town of Kafr Habab. 

The three men told security forces they carried out the kidnapping as part of a ransom plot.

During the investigation, the kidnap victim said he had been tortured by the kidnappers, who attempted to hang him after demanding his girlfriend pay a ransom.

Security forces said the kidnapping last month highlighted the ability of overseas workers to form active gangs.

Last March, security forces broke up a Bangladeshi network selling a drug known as yaba — tablets containing a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine.

Use of the drug is rising among the Bangladeshi community in Lebanon and has started to spread among young Lebanese, according to security forces. 

Bechara Asmar, president of the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers, estimated there were 200,000 Bangladeshi and Indian workers in Lebanon. 

“They are self-contained communities and live in groups that are divided between Jounieh, Dora and Tayouna,” he told Arab News.

“These workers are being recruited to work in petrol stations, supermarkets, parks and environmental businesses,” Asmar said. Some of these workers are craftsmen who work in carpentry, the aluminum industry and embroidery.

A security official said the three detainees in the kidnap case will be referred to the Lebanese judiciary for trial.

The three will not be extradited because the alleged crime was committed on Lebanese territory.


France urged to suspend boat delivery to Libya over migrant concerns

Updated 25 April 2019
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France urged to suspend boat delivery to Libya over migrant concerns

  • The demand was laid out in a legal challenge that was filed at the administrative court in Paris on Thursday morning

PARIS: Eight international NGOs including Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) demanded on Thursday that France suspend the delivery of boats to Libya’s coast guard on concerns they would be used to intercept migrants.

French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly had in February agreed to donate six boats to the Libyan navy, under which the coast guard operates, in a move she said was aimed at helping them “in the fight against illegal immigration.”

But the offer angered rights groups who said they would be used to block migrant boats seeking to reach Europe, forcing those on board to return to war-torn Libya.

The demand was laid out in a legal challenge that was filed at the administrative court in Paris on Thursday morning.

In it, the groups demand “the suspension of the decision” until the court decides whether or not the donation is legal. The court has 48 hours to make a decision.

The NGOs believe forcing people to return to Libya would expose them to “serious human rights violations.” Massimo Moratti, regional director for research at Amnesty International, said the pledge to deliver boats to the Libyan coast guard was “an unlawful and reckless decision.”

He said it was all the more dangerous at a time when fighting has intensified after Eastern commander Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive on the capital Tripoli earlier this month.

“Doing it now, as the armed conflict in Libya escalates, is even more callous and irresponsible,” Moratti said in a statement, warning the donation would make France “complicit” in trapping people inside the country.

The NGOs accused the coast guard of having a bad track record in respecting those in distress at sea, saying it should not be given the logistical means to step up such abuses.

The statement accused the coast guard of abuses including pushing those in distress back into the water, threatening them with weapons and firing toward them.

The six vessels, which are to be delivered in the coming weeks, are 12-meter, semi-rigid boats made by French specialist Sillinger.

Besides Amnesty and MSF, the legal petition was joined by France’s Human Rights League, immigrant support group GISTI, Lawyers Without Borders, migrant aid groups La Cimade and Migreurop and Italian research and aid group ASGI.