Saudi: The murders occurred in 2010 and the bodies were buried 1.5 metres under the ground in an isolated farm at Safwa near Al Qatif in the Eastern Region.
The bodies were unearthed when a Saudi man rented the farm from its elderly woman owner and was working on setting up an improvised irrigation system. As he was digging, he found the victims’ bones. He initially thought they belonged to an animal, but when he found garments next to them, he alerted the police.
Initially, two bodies were discovered, but soon afterwards, three more skeletons were unearthed. The grisly discovery prompted a massive investigation to identify the victims and hunt down the killers. The initial focus was on the farm that was notorious for being used to make liquor illegally and for gambling, mainly by foreign workers. The victims were found with ropes tied around their arms and legs while their mouths were stuffed with cotton and covered with duct tape.
The police had only the identity card of one of the victims and a gold ring on which a name was inscribed. Both items helped the police to identify the first victim. The probe then was expanded to include the friends and acquaintances of the victims and the list was later narrowed down to 25 suspects, including one Saudi man who reportedly dealt with the workers.
The list was subsequently reduced to eight suspects, which included three Saudi nationals. The investigation eventually revealed that the three Saudi nationals had committed the crime, although four Indians were also arrested for their role in making and selling liquor. The three Saudis were arrested. One of them who had close connections with one of the victims was arrested while the other two were already in jail in other cases.
A butcher, a shop salesman and a worker in the construction sector were among the Indians arrested. The investigation revealed that the crime occurred following a dispute related to the consumption of liquor.
“I was riding a motorcycle with a friend when I received a phone call from another friend asking me to see him at the farm,” one of the Saudis said in his confession.
“My friend and I were not in a normal state after we consumed alcohol and took hashish and pills, but we went to see the other friend. When we reached the farm at around 10pm, we saw five workers tied up. The friend explained that he had invited them to drink alcohol and drugged them because he was upset with one of them for allegedly harassing the daughter of his sponsor,” the defendant said, quoted by Saudi daily Al Riyadh yesterday.
The friends sat together in a separate room and took more alcohol and drugs.
“Suddenly, we heard the screams of one of the workers. We walked up to him and we beat them with a stick, taking turns. We then went back to continue our binge in the other room before returning to beat the workers. The friend who called us to the farm suggested we bury them in a hole that had been dug in the back of the farm. We liked the idea and we covered the mouths of the five men with adhesive tape. We moved them on a truck. The hole was around two metres wide and one-and-a-half metres deep. We buried them alive. My friend and I stayed at the farm for some time before leaving while my other friend remained there.”