‘Lost’ Saudi boy reunited with family two decades after hospital kidnap

Yehia Al-Kahlani told reporters that DNA confirmed the family link. (Videograb: Al Arabiya)
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Updated 21 February 2020

‘Lost’ Saudi boy reunited with family two decades after hospital kidnap

  • Woman to face charges over abduction of three newborns 

JEDDAH: Saudi authorities are holding a woman in her fifties on charges of having kidnapped three baby boys from a hospital more than 20 years ago.

The arrest comes after Naif Al-Qaradi was reunited with his birth family, who refused to give up hope after he was taken from Qatif hospital hours after his birth.

Al-Qaradi’s paternal uncle, Yehia Al-Kahlani, from Jazan, told reporters that the young man’s identity had been confirmed by a DNA result that matched his mother’s.

Al-Kahlani said that the boy had been kidnapped about six hours after his birth. His mother was visited by a woman dressed as a nurse who said she was going to take him for a check-up.

“We suffered for a long time, 26 years or even more searching for him. His father suffered the most with psychological stress, resulting in a heart condition that led to his passing,” the uncle said.

“Naif’s joy is indescribable at this revelation,” the uncle added. “We pray that he is always happy to have met his real family. He is still recovering from the shock and coming to terms with what has happened to him.”

Al-Kahlani said that the family hopes to press charges because of the involvement of other kidnapped children.


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He said the woman’s husband may also have been involved because the boy was registered under his name in official papers.

Eastern Province police released a statement on Thursday saying that the suspect had been linked to the kidnapping case in Qatif after a DNA test on her second son confirmed he was not her child.

The woman’s husband is being held for questioning.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health was forced to tighten security following the kidnapping of several newborns in hospitals two decades ago.

Naif Al-Qaradi — the name given to him by the woman who raised him — appeared in a video defending his “adoptive” mother, saying she did her best, and took care of him and fed him well.

He is the second man to be returned to his family. The other kidnap victim, Moussa Al-Khanizi, was reunited with his father, Ali Al-Khanizi, who dropped all charges after his son’s pleas.

In response to the case, many people took to social media to highlight other cases of missing children around the same period. Several hashtags were raised, including: #IbtihalWillReturn for Ibtihal Al-Mutairi, who vanished in 2002, and another child,  Nassim Habtour, who disappeared in 1996.

Saudi entrepreneur and influencer Naif Madkhali (@Naifco) said via a tweet: “The son’s humanitarian viewpoint of the mother who has raised them and their love for her could help us understand the enormity of the tragedy and shock in the case. I believe they need specialized psychological care in the coming period.”

Saudi Arabia delays May crude prices until after OPEC+ meeting

Updated 05 April 2020

Saudi Arabia delays May crude prices until after OPEC+ meeting

  • OPEC and allies are due to meet on Thursday to discuss a possible new global crude supply cut

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco will delay the release of its crude official selling prices (OSP) for May until April 10 to wait for the outcome of a meeting between OPEC and its allies regarding possible output cuts, a senior Saudi source familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
"It is an unprecedented measure that has not been taken by Aramco before. May OSPs will depend on how the OPEC+ meeting concludes. We are doing what we can to make it successful, including taking this extraordinary step to delay the OSPs," the Saudi source said.
Saudi Aramco typically issues its OSPs by the 5th of each month, setting the trend for Iranian, Kuwaiti and Iraqi prices and affecting more than 12 million barrels of oil per day bound for Asia.
OPEC and allies are due to meet on Thursday to discuss a possible new global crude supply cut to end a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia which has prompted US President Donald Trump to intervene.
The Saudi source said that Riyadh wants to avoid a repeat of the outcome of a March meeting where oil talks collapsed between OPEC and allies "due to Russia's lack of cooperation with the rest of OPEC+ participants".
Coordinated cuts between OPEC members and others led by Russia expired on March 31 having helped support crude prices since they began in January 2017.
The OPEC+ meeting was initially due for Monday, but was postponed to April 9 "to allow for more time to reach out to all producers including OPEC+ and others," the Saudi source said.