My brother ate bugs to survive
A UAE national who was held hostage by a band of criminals in Nigeria had to live off bugs to stay alive, his brother told 7DAYS.
Mohammed Khamis Majed was seized by the gang in the African country in January and held for two months, before being rescued by elite forces from the UAE.
His older brother, Majed, spoke yesterday of the horrifying conditions the 29-year-old father was kept in as his captors demanded a Dhs18.5 million ransom.
“He told me he was kept in a dark place underground and was given a little water and dry bread,” said Khamis.
“He was often left for long periods without any food or water. He started eating the insects around him to stay alive.”
Mohammed, from Umm Al Quwain, was rescued on Monday on the orders of UAE President, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Two teams from the UAE were sent to secure Mohammed’s freedom and bring his kidnappers to justice after his brother reported him missing in January.
Officers pretended to negotiate with the crooks while formulating a plan to rescue him, working with the Nigerian government. Mohammed’s abductors said they would kill their victim if they didn’t get their money.
The teams busted the ringleader and arrested suspects in the UAE and Nigeria as well as freeing Mohammed with the help of Nigerian police.
Following his release, Mohammed was taken to hospital suffering from exhaustion, his brother said, adding he was finally due home tomorrow.
Khamis added Mohammed’s family never doubted he would return safely.
He said Mohammed had been allowed to record two voice messages to his family on the 40th day of his captivity.
“Assalamu alaykum my brother, Inshallah I will once again be among you, my faith in Allah is strong,” he said is one of the messages.
Khamis said he found out about the kidnapping, which happened while Mohammed was away on business, when he received a package from Nigeria containing three letters, including one in Mohammed’s writing.
One said: “Majed, if you tell the police, we will kill him, cut him into pieces and bury him in a place you will never find.”