Medeshi April 27, 2009
Asian man found in car with gas cannisters strapped to him
London: In a bizarre incident, an Asian man was found in a car, bound and gagged, with gas canisters strapped around him, raising a bomb threat in Birmingham.
Police officials said the man, in his 30's, had been placed in the white car against his will and was warned by his abductors that he had been placed next to a bomb.
The unnamed man was sent to a hospital with an injured leg after he was found by the police, who have now launched a manhunt for the 'reprehensible' crime.
Army bomb disposal experts, firefighters and specialist police negotiators were on the scene after a shocked trucker driver raised the alarm.
The victim was lying across the front seats of the car surrounded by the canisters that were described as being the size of beer cans. The alert brought widespread disruption to Birmingham's rail network.
Councillor Ayoub Khan, cabinet member for community safety at Birmingham City Council, said an eye witness had told him he had seen "foam coming out of the man mouth and said he was unconscious".
Khan added: "It seems that this man is a victim rather than the assailant".
Chief superintendent Tom Coughlan said: "This incident has now become a criminal investigation. The man appears at this stage to have been placed in the car against his will possibly with a view to scaring him".
The man had been told by his kidnappers that a bomb was placed in the car with him.
"We are seeking to establish the actual nature of the device that was placed in the car," said Coughlan.
He said the action was "reprehensible" and had placed the victim, members of the public and emergency services at risk.
Apart from an injured leg, the victim's health was "fine," he said.
He added: "This was clearly a kidnap situation and almost certainly there will be a criminal motivation to it".