Raids in search for kidnapped Rotterdam deputy imam (71)

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Raids in search for kidnapped Rotterdam deputy imam (71)

The police raided a home in South Rotterdam on Thursday in connection with the search for the 71-year-old Rotterdam deputy imam who was kidnapped on January 25. The police had previously also searched a warehouse in Nieuwe-Tonge. The man is still missing.

Three men

The 71-year-old man was pulled into a bus by two men on Thursday evening, January 25, on Zoutziederstraat in Rotterdam, while a third perpetrator drove the van. The victim was walking home from the mosque at that time, a walk of a few hundred meters.

Arrest

On Tuesday, January 30, a 45-year-old man from Zwolle was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the kidnapping. On February 2, it was decided that he would have to remain in custody for at least another two weeks.

After the man was pulled into the van, he drove towards Mathenesserweg/Taandersstraat. The van’s (forged) license plates were soon traced and placed in the computer system that connects to roadside cameras that scan license plates. This license plate recognition system gave a final ‘hit’ on the Haringvliet bridge towards the south around 8 p.m. From there there is no trace.

Getaway car

The van in which the victim was pulled is a previously stolen black Ford Transit Custom 3 (built in 2019) with thin orange stripes, silver-colored mirrors, side bars and with forged license plates. According to the police, an earlier call for witnesses about the van into which the victim was pulled did not yield any useful tips.

It is suspected that the reason for the kidnapping was a criminal conflict and that the 71-year-old man was a victim of this.

Rip deal

De Telegraaf previously wrote that the victim is 71-year-old deputy imam Mohamed. According to the newspaper’s sources, he was kidnapped because one of his sons is held responsible for a stolen shipment of 400 kilos of cocaine. A group of Serbian and Albanian drug criminals may be responsible for the kidnapping. Another son of the deputy imam was also reportedly kidnapped by a group of criminals last year and held captive for hours. It is said to be the same ripping deal.

The police are looking for people who know more about the reason for the kidnapping or people who know where the victim is being held.

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