Fearing abduction of an Indian national in central China’s Zhejiang province, Indian authorities in Shanghai have sought details of his whereabouts from the Chinese government, diplomatic sources said on Friday. The Indian Consulate in Shanghai filed a “note verbale”, a diplomatic communication, with the local office of the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, seeking details of Tabrez Akbarali Bana, a resident of Mumbai, the sources said.
Bana has been reported missing from the Chinese commodity market Yiwu for the past a few days, amid concerns that he may have been abducted by local businessmen over a trade dispute. He visited the police station in Yiwu a few days ago to complain about threats by the businessmen and has been reported missing since.
Indian officials fear he may have been abducted by the traders, who aggressively pursue foreign businessmen who owe them money. Family sources say Bana may have been picked up by the traders because of a mistaken identity. Hundreds of Indian traders visit Yiwu, the world’s biggest commodity market, to purchase goods and sell them via retail outlets in India.
Similar cases involving trade disputes have been reported in the past in China. Two Indian traders – Sunder Agrawal and Deepak Raheja – had to face cases for allegedly cheating Chinese suppliers in 2012.