Police rescue kidnapped Iranian ‘gang member’ in op in central Turkey
Police have rescued an Iranian citizen who was kidnapped five days ago with an operation in the Central Anatolian province of Konya.
Iranian Kazem Moradi, 43, was kidnapped for ransom and was subjected to torture, Doğan News Agency reported on May 19.
Electronic engineer Moradi, who has an electronic devices factory in Iran, arrived in the western province of Denizli as a tourist to visit a friend on May 11. He then continued on to Konya, where he met an Afghan friend, 31-year-old Majit Shekari.
A couple of days later, Moradi’s wife in Iran received a picture of her husband with his hands and feet tied, eyes shut and a knife at his throat, along with a message asking for a ransom worth nearly 16,300 Turkish Liras.
Moradi’s wife notified Morteza Sarsangi, her husband’s friend in Denizli, about the issue and asked him to help ensure Moradi’s release.
Sarsangi applied to the police in Denizli, which notified police in Konya. Following the notification, police in Konya launched efforts to rescue Moradi. After conversations with his wife, they determined that the man had gone to Konya to visit Shekari.
Police then started investigations in the Şükran neighborhood in Konya’s Meram district due to the high population of Afghans living there and apprehended Shekari on May 17 at his house.
After receiving information from Shekari, the police staged an operation on the house in which they believed Moradi was being held captive. Moradi was found with his hands and feet tied and alone.
The kidnappers locked the door and left the house after hearing that Shekari had been detained, according to police. They were later located with the help of the testimonies of Shekari and Moradı.
Raids were carried out on three different addresses in the Meram and Karatay districts, resulting in the detention of Mohammadaref Yıldız, 24; Gholam Farogh Akbarı, 32; Qudratullah Fedaie, 23; Abdulhalik Muhammed Sherif, 20; and Mohammod Dod Mohammod Eyup, 23.
The suspects confessed to kidnapping and torturing Moradi, although police also determined that Moradı and the Afghan kidnappers were part of a “fake passport gang.”
In their testimonies, the suspects said they were producing fake passports with Moradi and selling them to people wishing to come to Turkey. Shekari had his own “clients” and Moradi was preparing passports for them, according to the testimonies.
In addition, the suspects said they knew Moradi was wealthy, consequently leading them to ask for a ransom.
Although Moradi denied the accusations that he was producing fake passports, police found a number of fake passports, stamps and a printer in three packages Moradi sent from Iran to Konya before arriving in Turkey.
Moradi and six Afghans were referred to court on May 19.