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Iraqi man stages own kidnapping to claim $100,000 ransom from his father Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Iraqi man stages own kidnapping to claim $100,000 ransom from his father

Genuine kidnappings by militias in Baghdad are not uncommon [AFP]

Date of publication: 13 February, 2019

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An Iraqi man 'kidnapped' himself so he could claim a $100,000 ransom, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said on Tuesday. It is not the first case of its kind.

An Iraqi man "kidnapped" himself so he could claim a ransom of $100,000 from his wealthy father, the Iraqi interior ministry said on Tuesday.

The man reportedly arranged the false abduction with his friends in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

"After further investigation, it was revealed that he had not really been kidnapped, and had agreed for his friends to hide him to make his family believe he had been abducted," said the ministry.

A Baghdad police officer told The New Arab's Arabic sister site that security forces had conducted extensive investigations in the area where the man had been "kidnapped" before the man turned himself in and confessed to being behind his own disappearance.

He told officers he had cooked up the plan with his friends. He is now facing legal action, reported the Interior Ministry.

The bizarre case is not the first of its kind in Iraq.

In September 2018 a Baghdad court sentenced a man to three years in jail when he faked his kidnapping to extort money from his wife.

Playing the role of both kidnapper and abductee, the man disappeared from the couple's home for nine days and sent pictures of himself, bloodied and apparently dead, to his wife's phone.

Believing he was dead, his wife paid $20,000 to retrieve his body.

An investigation showed that the blood he used to fake his death was that of a chicken.

"The Baghdad courts have already recorded cases of people who tried to obtain money from relatives illegally," Iraqi lawyer Abdul-Karim al-Aboudi told the New Arab.

Some similar cases have been made public, Aboudi explained, such as disputes between siblings over inheritances.

Other cases have been more extreme, with some people even hiring armed militias to threaten and extort family members.

Following the chaos unleashed by the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, cases of kidnapping for ransom soared in Iraq.

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