Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — Police have arrested a 23-year-old woman for allegedly kidnapping a two-year-old girl — Shouq Sulaiman Ibrahim Al-Zuwail — while the child’s father was busy shopping in a Riyadh mall. Security officers were successful in bringing the girl back to the family within 24 hours.
A spokesman of Riyadh police said the girl’s father Sulaiman informed police about the incident on Saturday, saying Shouq went missing while she was in a shopping center east of Riyadh. Video footages showed the girl going out of the mall with a woman.
“Investigations proved that the kidnapper was a 23-year-old Saudi woman who acknowledged that she had taken the girl to her flat south of Riyadh,” the spokesman said, adding that the woman admitted that she had no relation with the girl’s family.
“We have also arrested a man associated with the woman, who is now in women’s prison of Riyadh. We have also handed over the girl to her father,” the official said.
Raad Al-Zuwail, uncle of the girl, said Shouq’s family wanted to know what the woman’s motive was and whether she had any grudge against the family. “We don’t know anything about this woman,” Al-Zuwail told Al-Hayat Arabic daily.
A security source said the kidnapper had left her family about four months ago. “We don’t have clear information about her motives,” the source added.
Shouq’s father noticed that the girl was missing within five minutes, Al-Zuwail said. After 20 minutes of search in the market, the girl’s father contracted Raad to inform him that the girl was missing.
“I went to the market immediately and asked the management to check their cameras. They refused to do it in the beginning and we had to call police. A video footage showed that a woman was sitting nearby the girl while she was playing there,” he explained.
Criminal investigation officers started collecting information about suspected kidnappers including a woman who was carrying a vanity bag similar to the one carried by the kidnapper. Further investigation proved that she had nothing to do with the crime.
Security officers resorted to the assistance of cameras in a nearby bank to know the type of car used by the kidnapper to leave the place and found that it was a limousine car. During this time the condition of the girl’s mother was lamentable, Raad said.
At 6.50 a.m. on Sunday, Al-Zuwail received a call from an official from the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) asking about features of the girl and whether she had henna on her forehead. The mother confirmed she was having henna on forehead.
The Haia official said the girl came to Aziziya with a woman traveling on a SAPTCO bus. Col. Mansour Al-Otaibi, head of criminal investigation sent his team to SAPTCO and made use of the transport company’s camera to identify the kidnapper.
Al-Zuwail thanked Riyadh Emir Prince Faisal Bin Bandar, his deputy Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman as well as the Riyadh police chief and his team for finding the child within 24 hours. “I would like to extend the family’s thanks and appreciation to Col. Mansour Al-Otaibi for standing by us throughout the ordeal. The colonel told us he would not sleep until the girl returns to the family and he fulfilled his promise,” Al-Zuwail added.