Reward of £20,000 in hunt for dad who ‘abducted three boys at knifepoint’

A £20,000 reward is being offered in the search for a father who allegedly abducted his three sons from their foster home and smuggled them overseas.

Imran Safi, 26, is believed to have kidnapped Bilal Safi, six, Mohammed Ebrar Safi, five, and Mohammed Yaseen Safi, three, from their house in Coulsdon, south London on August 20.

He allegedly threatened the foster mother at knifepoint and tied her up before forcing the three brothers into his car and driving away.

It is feared the Afghan national, who has links to Pakistan, took the boys abroad after learning they were to be adopted.

The Metropolitan Police has faced criticism for taking seven days to launch an appeal and admitted a lack of eyewitness reports may have given Safi a chance to leave the country.

New images of the boys playing in a park in Croydon, south London, hours before their disappearance have been released today along with a CCTV image of the suspect’s car.

The red Nissan Qashqai with the registration PK13 WFO was spotted in the Coulsdon area shortly before the kidnapping at 6pm, with a suspected accomplice in the passenger seat.

So far 15 arrests have been made in connection with the disappearances, with all suspects released on bail.

The majority of arrests were in parts of south and east London, but two were made in Bristol and at Heathrow airport.

Metropolitan Police Commander Bas Javid said: ‘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.

‘We are now offering a £20,000 reward for any information that will lead us to Safi and help us to bring the children home safely.

‘We also need the public’s help to identify a man who was the passenger in the red Nissan at the time the children were taken.

‘He may hold valuable information as to where the children and Imran Safi are. We believe that Imran and the children have most likely left the UK.

‘Our working theory is that they have left via a clandestine route, but to where? We still are unsure.

‘The focus of this operation is returning these innocent children to the UK which is our top priority. We hope that offering this reward will lead to some significant information being passed to us.’

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