A manhunt is underway for a 26-year-old man named Imran Safi, who has kidnapped his three young sons, 6-year-old Bilal, 5-year-old Mohammed Ebrar, and 3-year-old Mohammed Yaseen.
Safi allegedly threatened the children’s foster caretaker and took them by force before disappearing. He has not been since last Thursday when the kidnapping took place, but authorities suspect that he did not act alone. At least thirteen people have been arrested under suspicion of being involved in the kidnapping.
According to Scotland Yard, four men were arrested on Friday morning in connection with the crime. Then on Saturday, police arrested another man at a residential address in Ilford, east London, because he was suspected of somehow participating in the abduction. All of the people who have been arrested thus far are either close friends or relatives of Safi.
Detectives believe that Safi took such drastic action because the boys were soon to be adopted by a new family.
The kidnapping took place on August 20th, at around 6 pm at the Coulsdon House in Croydon. The foster caretaker was inside while the three brothers were playing in a garden nearby, but when she went to check on the children she noticed Safi, who pulled a knife and threatened her before taking the boys.
As soon as the incident was reported, a massive manhunt began, and despite the arrests, little progress has been made in tracking the boys down. There are currently over 100 officers working around the clock to find the children, but the lack of leads has some of them concerned that the father has taken the boys overseas.
Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer said that officers are relying on tips from the community to help them locate the children.
Whilst this development has brought us one step closer to finding Imran and the three children, we still need more information from the public to help us locate them. I would really urge anyone from the Croydon, and now Ilford, area to think long and hard about if they saw these children, or their father, the evening of Thursday, August 20, and possibly the morning of Friday, August 21, Stringer said, according to the Standard.
Scotland Yard has also issued a notice to report the whereabouts of a red Nissan Qashqai car, registration PK13 WFO.