UAE : Dubai Family Found Murdered in India


Dubai family found murdered in India

DUBAI - AUG 24: A Dubai family of four, including two children, were found strangled in a budget lodge near the southern Indian city of Hyderabad.

Kadali Prasada, who had worked with Dubai Petroleum, was found dead on Saturday along with his wife Vijayalakshmi, daughter Kavita, 11, and son Ketan, 14.

“Right now we are all in a state of shock. We do not know what happened,” said Nagaraj Babu, a relative who lives in Hyderabad.

He said Mr Prasada had been living in Dubai for more than 20 years and was employed by Dubai Petroleum as an engineer.

“They had booked tickets and were expected to travel back to Dubai,” on Friday, said Mr Babu.

In was the second recent tragedy for the family.

Mr Prasada had delayed their departure from India after a nephew committed suicide.

Police said they were puzzled as to why the Prasada family, which was fairly well off, chose to move into a budget lodge in the city just a day before they were supposed to leave the country.

Investigating officers told The National yesterday that the family had been strangled.

Other evidence, including the fact that the door to their hotel room was locked from the outside, also pointed to murder, they said.

“There were four other people living with them in the lodge in nearby rooms. They are missing now. It is too early to state the motive behind this action,” YV Ramana, the city’s assistant commissioner of police, Gopalapuram division, said by telephone.

“We can say that it was a murder and the victims were strangulated. Other details are under investigation,” he said.

He said police had identified suspects but refused to divulge any further information.

There were only sketchy details available about the family’s movements before the apparent murders. The police report said the family left Mr Prasada’s home village for the city of Secunderabad early last week and had been staying in a different hotel there. They moved to the RAK Royal Lodge on Thursday evening along with another group. The bodies were found just 24 hours later. The staff at the hotel called the police after they found the door locked from the outside and noticed a bad smell coming from the room. Mr Prasada was found lying dead in the corridor. His wife and children were found on the bed.

The police also found passports and airline tickets belonging to the family. The family had booked tickets to return to Dubai last Friday.

Indian media reports said police were investigating several potential motives in the case, including a family feud, personal enemies or the involvement of a gang that may have lured them to the lodge.

Dubai Petroleum yesterday confirmed that Mr Prasada was employed by the company but declined to provide further information about him.

Death penalty for youth in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi - AUG 24: A 19-year-old who shot and killed a friend after a row was sentenced to death yesterday by the Criminal Court of First Instance.

The judge pronounced AS guilty of first-degree murder. He showed little emotion as the verdict was read, but several of his female relatives present in the courtroom cried out in protest. The defence is expected to appeal against the verdict and has 30 days to do so. Under federal law, all cases in which the death penalty is sought must be tried at all three court levels: the Court of First Instance, the Appeal Court and the Court of Cassation.

The Court of First Instance heard from witnesses that an argument had broken out between AS and the victim, identified as RS, 17, and that there was bad blood between them.

Last January, though, AS persuaded the other teenager to meet him, apparently to try to resolve the conflict. The two met at Marina Mall where they were joined by two friends of the convicted man.

The group then drove to a remote villa in Karama where AS and RS began arguing. After a heated exchange, AS shot RS at point-blank range in the back of the head.

AS had intended to flee the scene after killing RS, but was persuaded by his friends to surrender to the police. He was immediately arrested and denied bail.

At the start of the trial, RS’s family were given an option of accepting blood money from the killer’s family but they rejected the offer.

Defence lawyers for AS previously claimed RS had pulled out a pocket knife during the argument, and that AS had shot him in self-defence.

The forensics medicine section of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department examined AS after his defence lawyers requested an assessment of their client’s mental stability, saying he suffered from mood swings and suicidal tendencies.

Doctors concluded he was sane and should be held responsible for his crime.

The death penalty requires the signature and approval of Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

Internet property wars reach UAE

Domain names ending in .ae have attracted much speculative interest since the market was opened up, with resale prices in some cases up in the millions. But amid growing regulatory rumbling, time could be running out for such activities.

ABU DHABI - AUG 24: Turning a few hundred dirhams into a few million, free of hard work or long hours, is a speculator’s dream that even the overheated property market of 2008 would have struggled to deliver.

But digital speculators are making spectacular profits on the registration and resale of premium .ae domain name, in a booming market that is being investigated by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

Since the registration process for UAE domains was simplified last year, a significant market has emerged for the resale of high-profile addresses. With this has come a growing interest by online speculators in registering domains that could prove valuable as web addresses when resold.

Some are intended to match the vanity number plates that attract hundreds of thousands, and occasionally millions, of dirhams when sold at auction. Others are sold as prime real estate on which to build on online business.

But the TRA, which administers the .ae internet country domain, said yesterday that registering a UAE domain with no intention other than to resell it could hurt the registrants if they are later accused of registering the site in bad faith, something forbidden by its rules.

“Demonstrating an intention or willingness to sell a domain name is not determinative of a finding of bad faith,” the regulator said. “However, it is highly probative evidence which must be weighed with all other evidentiary elements.”

When applying to register a domain name, the applicant must guarantee that he or she is not acting in bad faith, meaning against the accepted principles of the system.

While registrants should in theory have the intention of using the domain themselves, the business of registering and reselling these addresses has taken off around the world, with regulators typically getting involved only when issues of trademark or intellectual property are raised.

Despite TRA oversight, the frenzy for the best web addresses in the UAE shows no sign of abating, with a businessman claiming this week to have been offered Dh4 million (US$1.1m) each for two domain names he had registered.

Brendan O’Shea said the bids had been made for the and domains, each of which he has registered with a business partner.

The Abu Dhabi-based 29-year-old, who works as a business development director, says he has declined the offers and is holding out for Dh7m for each one.

His claims come just weeks after the Ozone Group, an Indian-based technology company with an office in Dubai, said it sold the domain name for Dh6m.

Interest in .ae domain names has increased since the authority removed Etisalat’s monopoly on selling them, thereby streamlining their purchase.

Mr O’Shea, who is from Ireland, said he and a friend registered about 18 months ago, while with another friend he registered about three months ago.

“Registering domain names is not my main line of business, but I picked these up after brainstorming over lunch with a friend in Abu Dhabi.

“The recent hype over the domain name and the existing VIP status within the UAE has sparked interest in the domains and put a value on them that’s higher than expected.”

Currently, advertises a planned networking scheme for high net-worth individuals, while advertises the domain name itself.

Thanks to the modest initial purchase price of .ae domain names – they can be secured for as little as Dh150 – some individuals have bought hundreds in the hope they can resell them at a profit when demand grows.

For example, one individual has advertised on the web a total of more than 450 domains, among them,, and

However, some people doubt that .ae web addresses are worth the vast amounts said to have been paid or offered for them.

Dr Nnamdi Madichie, an assistant professor and marketing specialist in the college of business administration at the University of Sharjah, has mixed feelings about their worth.

“I don’t really see why anybody would want to pay so much for a .ae address,” he said. “I don’t see any particular business sense.”

However, he said if a domain did create a “buzz” in the market, it could turn out to be valuable commercially and worth a large purchase price.

Anthony Dayal, the managing director of Vistas Advertising and Marketing, based in Sharjah, suggested a more realistic figure for the value of useful domain names such as was Dh60,000 instead of Dh6m.

“Certainly it is valuable, but is it worth all that money?” he said.

Mr O’Shea believes though that the prestige of his internet domains means there could be sound commercial reasons for purchasing them.

His domain names, he believes, could be used to set up “exclusive” or e-mail addresses that could be sold to individuals.

“I am thinking of income streams,” he said. “You can sell e-mails to people on an annual subscription of, for example, Dh20,000.”

He makes a comparison with the large amounts of money people in the UAE will pay for exclusive number plates – the record is Dh52.2m for the plate 1.

“It might be a good opportunity,” he added. “You could produce email addresses which cannot be repeated on any other domain name. If you relate it to car registrations, you can see individuals demanding this domain and this email address.”

While opinions are mixed on whether it is worth paying millions of dirhams for a .ae address, there is certainly value in having a UAE-specific web address, according to Mr Dayal.

These domain names, he believes, are good at drumming up business.

“There are several organisations that operate with head offices elsewhere but who have a marketing office in the UAE, who I believe should have a .ae address to represent their UAE presence,” he said.

“It definitely has advantages for companies with a UAE presence or an interest in UAE markets.”

The commercial value of .ae web addresses has led to clashes over who deserves the rights to certain domain names.

Individuals known as “cybersquatters” have registered company names in the hope they can sell them for vast profits.

Life is becoming tougher for these opportunists, as the authorities are increasingly taking the view that the rightful owners of such domains are those who own the corresponding trademark.

For example, the World Intellectual Property Organisation has said domain names such as and should be forfeited by the individuals who initially registered them.

And in future, trademark holders may not have to resort to legal action to obtain domain names they believe are rightfully theirs, as the TRA said last week it had begun to audit .ae domain names that violated its policies.

The TRA’s .ae Domain Administration (.aeDA) section promised “serious actions” against cybersquatters, including those who violated the intellectual property rights of others when selecting an address. The issue of bad faith registrations was also raised by the regulator.

Dr Fadi Aloul, an associate professor of computer engineering at the American University of Sharjah, said the TRA’s restrictions were unlikely to affect domains that did not correspond with company names, such as

“Right now .ae domain names are getting more attention,” he added. “For some of these domain names, even if they do not correspond to a company name, they can still make money.”


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