In an agricultural area covered by palm groves that seem to extend endless, dozens of young people, all in the early twenties, will disappear forever in mysterious circumstances, leaving their families in grief, confusion and anxiety. These missing young people have one thing in common… All of them are taxi drivers.
Since I am a certified journalist, and I am responsible for what I publish, and since I also didn't get a copy of the investigative papers on this case, and not get any permission from an official source, I will not be able to publish the names of the characters of this true story, so any one how object this publication can deal with it as a fictional story.
The story begins with an old man who seems to be in his early 60s. He uses a crutch, wears a jilbab (long Arab garment), his hair is entirely white, his beard also white but not too long, and although he limps from one of his legs, he looks burly and full of health.
|To the area of Kamira|
The old man stood on a street corner of one popular areas of eastern Baghdad, raising his hand to ask for a taxi. A cab driven by a young man, led by his misfortune, stopped at this old man, who spoke like a helpless: "To the area of Kamira, how much do you want?".
The taxi driver replied gently: "15000 dinars - about $12 -"
The old man said as he opened the door: "Ok son ... let's go."
This short conversation was the last thing heard by the owner of a booth on that street corner where the old man rent the taxi, and that was all what told to the family of the young driver who had disappeared since then, his mobile phone closed and his car missed even though the police searched the area of (Kamira) inch by inch.
The word "kamira" is an adjective that was used in old times to describe the beautiful girl by liken her beauty to the beauty of the moon. And despite the beauty of the landscape in the area of "Kamira" as we have said, but it has a dark side, because it is also suitable to be the scene of crimes of murder, rape and robbery because it’s lay on the outskirts of the city, with difficulty of security control because of the density of palm groves.
In night it become a scary place , residents close their doors and never leave their homes after sunset, except in emergency cases like births that may require them to contact the security forces to send with them a heavily armed patrol accompanied them to the hospital.
|In night it become a scary place|
Perhaps the media made a mistake when it did not deal with the disappearance of this young man with the importance it deserves. But what it means the disappearance of a taxi driver in this miserable country full of violence! A stray bullet may have killed him!
Hence, the failure to highlight this incident has played a role in more disappearances in the coming months, because most taxi drivers who disappeared were hired from the same popular area, and If the kidnappers knew there was an uproar about the series of disappearances, Maybe they would stop and don’t repeat the crime in the same way and in the same poor area where it is easy to fool the taxi driver to death by 15000 dinars!.
|Erbil city north of iraq
One summer evening, Ahmad (a virtual name) was walking in a street in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. He came to the region from Baghdad on a month-long business trip.
Everything was normal before he passed by a cafe which was crowded with Arab tourists. Ahmed spotted a taxi parked next to the cafe. Its registration plate, which bears the name Baghdad, was not what attracts his attention; there are hundreds of cars with similar plates roaming the Kurdistan region. But what interested him and made his heart beat quickly was the shape of the car he knows well. The stickers that adorned the side of the car, the signs on its metal structure, are all quite similar to the car of a friend who disappeared more than six months ago! ... A friend who left behind a crying mother and a sad father and brothers desperate to know his mysterious fate?!, what does his car do in Erbil? He hated traveling and did not visit the Kurdistan region at all?! .
Ahmed acted wisely, he informed the first Kurdish policeman encountered in the street. Told him that this car belonged to young Baghdad resident disappeared six months ago. The police officer called in the radio to ask the Kurdish security forces (Asayish) to arrive immediately.
It is only the matter of three minutes until dozens of Asayish cars arrived and besieged the area from all sides in anticipation of any emergency, and then a number of Asayish got out and stormed into the cafe. One officer asked loudly, in Arabic: "Who is the owner of that car?".
An Arab youth replied: "Me!".
The officer asked him to show his identity and car papers. He showed his identity card and the car paper that registered in his name!!!.
The young man was taken to the headquarters of the Asayish forces for investigation. While the car reserved. In the meantime, Ahmed called the family of his disappeared friend to tell them the shocking news: "I found your son's car!"
|Street in Erbil
The Asayish forces were surprised by Ahmed's story, and if they had not heard the voice of the stricken taxi driver's mother screaming and weeping over the phone, they would release the young man who claimed to be the legitimate owner of the car and arrest Ahmad on false charges.
The case was strange. Because all the documents are registered in the name of the young man, who was arrested at the coffee shop, and all were legal and there is nothing wrong with it, yet there are those who claim that the car belonged to another young man from Baghdad who has been missing for some time.
Ahmed told the Kurdish officer about the story of the owner of a booth who heard the talk of the old man with the missing young taxi driver; it is likely that the young man disappeared in an area called Kamira or somewhere near it.
The Kurdish officer conducted a lengthy investigation with the suspect, in a professional and skillful manner, and placed him in a nightmare of questions. Eventually, the suspect was stunned when the officer asked him about the area of Kamira. The suspect became pale when he heard the name.
In the end, the suspect collapsed. "I wasn’t killed anybody; I didn’t make the forgery. The documents of the car that I bought came after a member of the gang had falsified and registered by my name," he said, weeping.
"But you know from where they get the cars, and yet you buy it" the officer said firmly. Then he asked, "What do you know about the fate of the real owners of these cars?".
The suspect replied with a cry: "They were ... slaying them!"
Asayish forces recorded the confessions of the suspect in Arabic and sent a copy to the federal police forces, with the transfer of the suspect to Baghdad and send the stolen vehicle also, and thus moved the investigation file to the capital Baghdad , where the crimes took place.
On a sunny summer morning, a huge convoy of dozens of federal and local police vehicles went to the area of Kamira for the second time. They searched it in the past without finding a thread that could lead them to the fate of the missing young man. But they know exactly where to go today, they are going to a specific house, and for this purpose were cordoned off all roads leading to that house, with the area besieged. And ensure the identity of entrants, and not allow anyone to leave until the end of the security operation, It was a memorable day that every policeman who participated in it remembered.
|The grove of horror|
As news of the missing taxi driver's story and the massive security operation being carried out in the Kamera area spread, tens of angry families flocked to police stations to renew information about the fate of their lost sons in the same way. They were all taxi drivers in the middle of the youth. They were hired, taken to an unknown destination and disappeared. Not only that, but additional witnesses saw the old man hired the victims and drive them to their deaths.
The police stormed a large house with a large courtyard surrounded by a high fence. They arrested all the people in the house, blindfolded them and took them to an interrogation center. They confessed before the investigating judge that they were involved in the theft of dozens of taxis in a cunning manner and killed the owners who were hired by the old man to take him to this remote area.
The old man contacts the gang members along the way to say:
"I am coming, I thank God for sending me this good young man to help me get to my house before sunset, God bless this noble young man ... He is driving a car of this type and model of such year ..."
This was a special reference or code agreed upon by the gang members, and upon reaching the gang's house in the area of Kmira the old man tells the driver:
“God bless you son. I am an old man and can barely walk, can you please take me by car to the end of the big yard of my house, to the inner door so that I don’t walk much?”.
Once the poor driver enters his car into the yard of the house, the gang closes the outer door, then surrounds the car, forcing the driver to leave the car at gunpoint, then handcuffing, blindfolding and taking him to a place where they had dig a big hole earlier, extend him near the edge of the hole in preparation for his slaughter.
Surprisingly, the old man is the one who carries out the slaughter of the driver with a sharp knife prepared in advance for these bloody rituals. After slaughtering the victim, they throw him into the hole and throw the dirt over him.
The perpetrators told the investigating judge that they were surprised more than once by the extent of the sadism and brutality of the old man who slaughters his victims as if he were slaughtering a chicken. He enjoyed cutting off the necks of these poor young men whose only sin is to seek their livelihood.
The perpetrators also confessed that they specialize in falsifying the identity papers of stolen cars in an amazing professional manner using the devices that were seized at home, and then sell the cars with new identification papers without having to change their number plates.
|The devil's old man disappeared|
Police took the perpetrators back to the Kamira area to uncover the burial sites of the victims. A mass grave containing dozens of bodies was discovered, as well as individual graves in places not far from the house.
In the midst of the sounds of wailing and cries of grieving mothers, the families received the bodies of their sons from the Department of Forensic Medicine after they were examined and verified the identity of each body and complete the formal procedures.
The case file has not been closed so far, the place of the main element of the story is still unknown. He was the man with the crutch. He was not at home at the moment of intrusion of the police, and all the ambushes failed to catch him, and God only knows where he is now and for what he plans.