UAE : Couples Wanted Over Dubai Family Murders


Couples wanted over Dubai family murders

Police in India were yesterday searching for two couples in connection with the murders of a family of four who lived in Dubai.

Reports in the Indian media said teams of officers were searching for the suspects after the bodies of Kadali Prasad, his wife Vijayalakshmi, son Ketan, 14, and daughter Kavita, 11, were found at a budget lodge in Secunderabad, near Hyderabad, last Friday. They had been strangled.

Mr Prasad’s brother-in-law, B Srinivas, said: “The police told us that two men and two women are the suspects. The men have been identified so far.”

Police said on Sunday that four people who had been staying with the family, in rooms nearby at the RAK Royal Lodge, were missing.

Relatives who mourned the family yesterday said they believed that a “land mafia” was involved in the killings.

The phrase usually applies to an organised criminal network operated by officials, politicians and business people.

“We are quite sure now that whatever happened was over a land dispute. They probably got involved with some land mafia, which cost them their lives,” said Mr Srinivas. Mr Prasad owned about 60 acres.

However, Mr Srinivas dismissed reports of a family dispute or the involvement of any family members. “No one from the family was involved in this,” he said. “It looks like this was done by someone who knew Prasad and invited him to the lodge. There was some deal going on in the lodge.

“They were given poison, probably cyanide in their food, and after that they were all strangled using a chord of a telephone charger.”

The police did not confirm the use of poison in the killings.

Mr Prasad was in his late 40s and his wife in her late 30s.

The family was cremated on Sunday evening and several religious rituals were performed by relatives yesterday.

The family had been on holiday in India since the end of July and were expected to return to Dubai on August 14. However, they extended their stay after Mr Prasad’s nephew committed suicide.

They moved into the lodge last Thursday. Hotel staff called police on Friday after they noticed a bad smell coming from the family’s room, which was locked from the outside. The body of Mr Prasad was found in a corridor. His wife and children were found on a bed.

Relatives intend to visit Dubai to collect the family’s belongings, but Mr Srinivas said: “Unfortunately, we do not know anyone in Dubai who can help us. We are trying to get in touch with the Indian Consulate in Dubai.”

Mr Prasad had lived in Dubai for 25 years. He was an engineer for Dubai Petroleum. His relatives described him as a good man, though aloof.

“He was a quiet man and no one knew what dealings he had,” said Mr Srinivas. “We all know that he has been working in Dubai for 25 years with a good record.”


Employers flout Ramadan timings

UAE - AUG 25: Nearly a third of UAE firms ignore Ramadan timings despite a law that all employers should cut the working day by two hours, a Maktoob Business Poll shows.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents said their employer "completely ignores" Ramadan working time.

More than a third - 36 percent - said reduced timings are applicable only to Muslim employees. Non Muslims have to work regular hours as they do not fast.

UAE’s Ministry of Labour regularly inspects offices and tracks employee complaints concerning firms flouting Ramadan timings. Penalties include not allowing firms to sponsor workers and fines. A firm can also be taken to court.

One in five respondents in the Maktoob poll said they work a little longer if required but generally follow Ramadan timings.

Only 14 percent said their employers observe strict Ramadan timings, requiring workers to leave on time.

To keep updated with the very latest news sign up to the Maktoob Business newsletter now.


Ramadan food costs drop by 30%

UAE - AUG 25: Food prices during Ramadan have fallen by between 20 and 30 per cent compared with the holy month last year, the Ministry of Economy said. Fatima Al Mutawa/ The National
Food prices during Ramadan have fallen by between 20 and 30 per cent compared with the holy month last year, the Ministry of Economy said.

More ministry checks, deals with suppliers and retailers and a drop in global commodity prices had led to the decrease in food prices, Dr Hashim al Nuaimi, the director of the ministry’s consumer protection department, said.

“In this case, I think the price will be fair now,” Dr al Nuaimi said after inspecting the fruit and vegetable market in Al Aweer, Dubai.

The decrease is a stark contrast to the peak food prices of last year, when high oil prices helped drive up the cost of staples, such as rice, to record highs.

But since July of last year, when global commodity prices were at their peak, food costs have fallen by 30 per cent, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says.

The FAO food index, which measures the average price of meat, dairy, cereals, sugar, oils and fats, has fallen to 147 last month from a high of 208 in July last year.

Figures from the Ministry of Economy last month showed a 0.03 per cent decline in the price of a basket of consumer goods and services between June last year and June this year.

Inflation in the first half of this year was just 3.4 per cent, down from the estimated rate of 12.9 per cent last year.

Dr al Nuaimi also attributed the drop in Ramadan prices to the ministry’s earlier planning for the holy month. The ministry has signed agreements with 62 hypermarkets in the UAE, leading to key food items such as meat, fish and vegetables being reduced by as much as 40 per cent.

The department also co-ordinated with food suppliers to keep prices low and ensure there was enough food for all, he said.

“The items will be available now in all the markets. We won’t be short,” Dr al Nuaimi said.

Inspectors would also visit retailers throughout Ramadan to ensure prices were in line and clearly marked, he said.

In yesterday’s visit at the Al Aweer market, ministry officials took action against retailers whose prices were deemed too high, or who failed to display their prices.

The ministry is selling a fixed-price “Ramadan basket” of essential foods, such as rice and cooking oil. It is on sale at Lulu Hypermarkets, Carrefour and several co-operatives. It would be enough to feed five people for one week, Dr al Nuaimi said.

Andy Barnett, a professor of economics at the American University of Sharjah, said inflationary pressures worldwide have eased or have even shifted to deflation, which have helped ease local prices.

“It reflects world circumstances and the worldwide recession, but also in some measure it would reflect expectations about the future,” said Mr Barnett. “Things are down, and are not going to get a whole lot better in the future. Last year, because people were so optimistic, they could jack prices up and people would still spend.”



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