Father hunted by police after abducting young sons at knifepoint

27 August 2020, 14:56

The three boys were abducted last week
The three boys were abducted last week. Picture: Met Police

By Kate Buck

Detectives have launched an urgent appeal to find three brothers who were abducted from their foster home by their father a week ago.

Scotland Yard said Bilal Safi, Mohammed Ebrar Safi, and Mohammed Yaseen Safi - aged six, five and three - were taken from their home in Coulsdon Road, Coulsdon on Thursday, 20 August.

Their father Imran Safi, 26, is sought by police after he threatened their foster carer who alleged he threatened her with a knife to take the three boys from the garden where they were playing.

Bilal, Mohammed Ebrar and Mohammed Yaseen or have not been seen since the abduction.

More than 100 officers are working to locate them, and Imran's picture and details have been sent to every port and border point in the country.

Imran is an Afghani national, and has links to Pakistan. At this stage, it is not known if he has travelled overseas.

Detectives believe there is a "strong possibility" the children may have been placed with friends or family.

Eight people - all family or associated of Imran- have been arrested in connection with the abduction, and bailed until a later date.

Imran Safi, 26, is being hunted by police
Imran Safi, 26, is being hunted by police. Picture: Met Police

Commander Jon Savell, said: “Our absolute priority at this moment in time is the welfare of these three children. They have been taken from a place of safety and we are growing increasingly concerned about their wellbeing, particularly as we remain in the midst of a global health crisis.

"While we do not believe at this time there is any immediate risk to their physical safety, their location, access to accommodation, healthcare, and other provisions is entirely unknown. We are concerned about the longer term impact of this on all three children.

“An intense investigation into how this abduction was planned and carried out is being led by detectives in south London, alongside a manhunt being led by specialist detectives within the Met.

"More than 100 officers are currently working to locate and bring these children home safely. We are, as anyone would expect, working incredibly closely with our law enforcement partners and international colleagues to explore all lines of inquiry.

Police are asking for anyone who saw this red Nissan Qashqai on the day of the abduction to get in touch
Police are asking for anyone who saw this red Nissan Qashqai on the day of the abduction to get in touch. Picture: Met Police

“This type of investigation is incredibly complex and fast-moving, and for good reason we often don’t speak openly about such cases. That is why, until this stage, we have not sought the public’s help. But we are now urging anyone who may have any information which could assist us to come forward.”

Anyone who may have information regarding the red vehicle or who believes they have seen Imran Safi and his children since Thursday, 20 August is asked to contact police immediately through the investigation control room on 07942599374 – this number is operational 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Anyone wanting to provide information anonymously can do so by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting crime reference number 6143/20AUG20.

Any member of the public who may see Imran Safi should avoid approaching him but call police immediately on 999 quoting the same crime reference number.

More to follow...