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Croydon abduction: Three young brothers 'taken abroad' by father

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image copyrightMet Police
image captionBilal, Mohammed Ebrar and Mohammed Yaseen Safi are said to have been taken from their foster home in Coulsdon Road

Three young brothers who were abducted by their father are abroad and probably in mainland Europe, police believe.

Imran Safi is said to have threatened a foster carer with a knife in south London last month and taken Bilal, Mohammed Ebrar and Mohammed Yaseen.

A 16th person was arrested in connection to the case after the Met Police offered a £20,000 reward for information on Tuesday.

Police believe the children have been illegally taken out of the UK.

All three brothers were playing in the garden while their foster carer was inside the house in Coulsdon when they were taken on 20 August, detectives said.

Cdr Bas Javid said they believed the father has used an illegal route to get the children out of the UK, possibly in a lorry as they did not have their passports with them.

A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to kidnap and possession of an offensive weapon on Tuesday morning.

image copyrightMet Police
image captionThe man was seen in a red Nissan Qashqai, registration PK13 WFO, at the time the children were taken

Nobody has been charged, but the Met have released an image of a new suspect.

The man, described as bearded and wearing a striped jumper, was seen in the passenger seat of a red Nissan Qashqai, at the time the children were taken.

"He may hold valuable information as to where the children and Imran are," Cdr Javid said.

"We appreciate that the image is not the clearest quality but we still need people to really study it and see if the man in the picture is one that they may recognise.

"I can't imagine how distressing this whole situation has been for the three young boys, who have been taken away from their safe environment, and our efforts to locate Imran Safi continues,"

image copyrightMet Police
image captionA new image has been released of Bilal, Mohammed Ebrar and Mohammed Yaseen Safi taken on the day they were taken
image copyrightMet Police
image captionImran Safi is not thought to be in possession of the boys' passports, the Met said

It is understood the three brothers were up for formal adoption.

Cdr Javid added: "The investigative team has been working tirelessly on this case and we are appealing again because someone reading or seeing this knows the whereabouts of these innocent children and I need them to contact us urgently and provide that knowledge."

The search for the three children and their father continues.

Related Topics

  • Coulsdon
  • Croydon

More on this story

  • Manhunt for Imran Safi after 'three sons abducted'