Three Iranians abducted, brutally tortured by Afghan gang in Istanbul house
Çetin Aydın – ISTANBULAn Afghan gang of up to seven people abducted and brutally tortured three Iranian nationals at an Istanbul house for a number of days in an attempt to force their families to give them money.
Turkish police eventually raided the address where the three Iranians were held based on intelligence received from the victims’ relatives and detained Afghan gang members.
The three Iranians, Sayed Salar Mehdi Pour, 29, his brother Saffer Mehdi Pour, 28, and their cousin Javad Ebrahim Fard, 26, were rescued in the operation. However, the authorities observed traces of torture on their bodies, including wounds from skin peeled off with a knife, hot irons pressed onto them, and beatings by hammers. Following the police operation, the Iranian nationals were delivered to their families.
The three Iranians came to Istanbul on June 15 and contacted an Iranian human trafficker in an attempt to travel on to the U.K. After paying the trafficker 35,000 euros, they were placed in a hotel in the central Taksim area, where they were kept for about a month, with the trafficker citing “a problem that has emerged on the border.”
The human trafficker then requested 75,000 Turkish Liras (18,000 euros) more from the Iranians and their families, before sending them from the Taksim hotel to an apartment in the Kadıköy district’s Fikirtepe neighborhood, telling them it was “time to travel to the U.K.” As the three Iranian nationals entered the house, a group of Afghan gang members descended on them, tying up their hands, feet and eyes.
The Afghan gang then contacted the Iranians’ families, sending them photos of torture and demanding 65,000 euros more to release them. The families tried to come to a compromise with the gang but the latter did not make a concession on the amount of the money, after which Pour brothers’ uncle, Elyas Momammad Khah, came to Istanbul with his nephew.
Khan appealed to the public security branch office for the Iranians to be found and an investigation was launched. Khan’s nephew told police that on the day the Iranians were abducted, one of the Pours had told his family that they would be going to a house in the Fikirtepe neighborhood.
The police then determined the abandoned houses where Afghans were staying in the neighborhood, monitoring the houses closely at night. After identifying one particularly suspicious address, the police broke into the house and rescued the abducted Iranians.