After a $1,200 Ransom Demand and Threats to Sell His Kidney, an Indian Student Found Dead in Cleveland, Ohio

Written on 04/09/2024
Asia91 Team


An Indian student, Mohammad Abdul Arfath, originally from Nacharam, Hyderabad, was found dead in Cleveland, Ohio, marking a tragic end to his disappearance case.

Arfath, 25, had moved to the US in May of the previous year to undertake a Masters in IT at Cleveland University, a journey from his home in India aimed at furthering his education and career prospects.

The Consulate General of India in New York expressed its sorrow over the discovery of Arfath's body, stating, "Anguished to learn that Mr. Mohammed Abdul Arfath, for whom a search operation was underway, was found dead in Cleveland, Ohio."

The consulate has offered its "deepest condolences" to Arfath's grieving family and is coordinating with local law enforcement to ensure a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances of his death. Efforts are also being made to repatriate Arfath's remains back to India for final rites.

This incident came to light after a distressing period of uncertainty following Arfath's last contact with his family on March 7. His disappearance prompted a concerted search effort, with his father, Mohammed Saleem, receiving a chilling ransom demand of $1,200 from an unidentified caller. This caller claimed Arfath had been kidnapped and threatened to harm him if the demand was not met, specifically mentioning a threat to sell his kidneys.

Saleem recounted the harrowing experience: "I got a call from an unknown number, and the caller informed me that my son had been kidnapped and demanded money. The caller did not mention the mode of payment but just asked to pay the amount. When I asked the caller to allow us to talk to my son, he refused."

The incident raises concerns over the safety of Indian students abroad, coming in the wake of another recent tragedy involving the death of Uma Satya Sai Gadde, an Indian student in Ohio. Arfath's family, deeply affected by the tragedy, has appealed to the Indian government for assistance in investigating the case and ensuring the safety of Indian students in the US.

 

 


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