A schoolboy who was feared abducted after he went missing for 26 hours last Friday has confessed to the Royal Oman Police (ROP) that he staged the whole drama out of the fear that his father would punish him if he scored low marks in his 10th grade examinations.
“In his initial statement, the boy had told us that three people had kidnapped him but his version had a lot of contradictions, so we continued asking him and finally he confessed that he had run away and was not kidnapped,” Sulaiman Al Rashidi, head of criminal investigations at the Ruwi police station, said in a statement sent to Gulf News.
Al Rashidi added that there had been a lot of ambiguity associated with the case from the outset. The police had taken the boy, Noel Sam Abraham, to a hospital for treatment soon after he was ‘found’ not far from the spot where he had earlier been reported missing by his father Abraham Samuel.
Al Rashidi said police had received a complaint from the 16-year-old’s father stating that his son had disappeared near the LuLu Hypermarket when he went shopping and his son stayed back in the car. “After 26 hours, we were informed that the boy was found behind the same hypermarket with his hand and legs tied,” he added.
The case generated massive interest on social media, microblogging website Twitter, local web portals as well as WhatsApp.
“There was no one involved in the boy’s disappearance, he staged his own escape,” Al Rashidi said, adding that the boy confessed to the police that he had feared that his father would punish him if he failed to get good grades in the 10th standard examinations. The boy had admitted that he got out of the car and climbed the mountains behind the hypermarket, the official said.
The discrepancies were evident in the statements given by the boy’s father and his family friends. The family had said the boy was studying for his on-going board examinations but, according to school sources, he had opted to take the school examinations but was not appearing for the board exams. The school exams start on Saturday.
When contacted by Gulf News over telephone on Wednesday, the father said that he was busy with the police and could not take calls.
The case comes close on the heels of the attempted abduction involving a 12-year-old girl from the Indian School Muscat. The police were quick to solve that case, nabbing two young citizens.
Al Rashidi said that Noel’s case had been handed over to the public prosecution. [GN]