M'lorean freed after 10 years in Saudi jail

A Mangalorean who was languishing in a jail in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia for more than 10 years, finally returned to his homeland on Monday. 

Mohammed Ayub, a resident of Kannur in Mangalore was in jail for more than 10 years after Saudi Telecom Company (STC) charged him and seven others with very heavy fines, when a person who ran illegal international phone call business in the building where they stayed,  escaped from Saudi Arabia following the arrest of all inmates of the building. 

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Ayoob said “I am coming back to Mangalore after 13 years. I had been to Saudi Arabia to earn my livlihood. I was working in a Indian mess in Riyadh. Later, I moved to Jeddah and was into a petty job. The salary was not enough to meet my requirements. I had even decided to return. However, the destiny had something else in store. I was arrested by the Jeddah police on June 1, 2003. The court had sentenced us to eight years of imprisonment and slapped a huge penalty. As I was not able to pay the fine, I could not come out after serving eight years in jail,” he said. 

Hussain Ahammed, Riyaz Ahammed from Kudroli, Nasir Mohammed from Ullal, Mohammed Ashraf from Surathkal, Fayaz from Bajpe, Mohamed Sharif from B C Road and Fairoz who were arrested along with Ayub are still languishing in the jail. 

“With the help of India Fraternity Forum, I was released. It took more than four months to complete the formalties. Understanding the miserable plight of these young men and their poor families, India Fraternity Forum took interest in the matter and sought the help and support of Consulate General of India. The Forum had set up an adhoc committee, consisting the Welfare coordinator of IFF Karnataka chapter Ashraf Bajpe, IFF Jeddah President Ashraf Murayoor, Mudassar Akkarangadi, Haris Goodinabali and Hussain Jokatte to mobilise the support to ensure the regular follow up of the case,” Ayub said. 

The families had submitted several petitions to the External Affairs minister and to the all MPs from Karnataka requesting the support of government for their release, said a family member. “My aged mother is on cloud nine. I am happy to return back to India. I only wish God for the welfare of all those who helped me to get released from the jail.” 


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