Tuesday, 27. January 2015
05. 06. 14. - 16:00
Police in Kazakhstan are trying to solve the mysterious kidnapping and enslavement of a Greek man who says he was held for a decade against his will and forced to tend goats.
Dmitry Hionidi, 66, says he left his homeland with his wife and daughter for a better life ten years ago, but they were killed shortly after arriving in a car crash. With no family back in Greece he decided to stay on and try his luck in a remote area of the country.
He pitched up in the suburbs of Zhanaozen, a town in the Mangystau Province of Kazakhstan, located south-east of the city of Aktau.
"One day as I was walking along the road looking for manual work a truck stopped, I was bundled inside and my life as a free man was effectively over," said Dmitry. "I was locked up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, where I was forced to feed goats. I was never given enough to eat, I was beaten, I suffered terrible pains in my legs as a result of the malnutrition.
"I was completely alone and completely at the mercy of a cruel man I had to call 'master.' In the end I could barely walk."
His ordeal ended when he could no longer work, and his cruel master bundled him back into his truck and dumped him at a local hospital - warning him to keep his mouth shut.
Doctors confirmed his legs are so malformed from the malnutrition that he now has to use a wheelchair. Police say he has been quizzed several times about his ordeal but he is too afraid to point them in the right direction that might lead them to his tormentor.
A spokesman said: "He told us that he tried to escape several times but was always recaptured and beaten. He suffered terribly from the cold and malnutrition and the heavy, physical labour he was forced to perform. He was probably dumped at the hospital because his kidnapper feared he was about to die and didn't want to be lumbered disposing of a corpse."
Now it has been revealed that there is a happy ending of sorts. Distant relatives of Dmitry have been found in Greece, who say they are willing to take him in and care for him for the rest of his life.
They are now looking at ways to get the cash to fly him home.
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