Case Study: Transportation or Traps?
One Friday, 19 year-old Muhyiddin went from his house in Irbid to visit his aunt who had just arrived from Syria to Za’tari camp, to check on her and provide her with a small amount of money from his father. When he arrived to Mafraq on his way to Za’tari, Muhyiddin noticed that time was going by very fast, as it was already long past midday and he had not arrived to the camp yet, suddenly he saw a group of six guys in a private bus asking him about where he wants to go, “I want to go to Za’tari camp,” Muhyiddin answered, “Please drive me as near as you can where I can manage to find a ride”, the guys kindly answered him: “We are already going there, we will take you on our way”, Muhyiddin, who was on a hurry, rode up with them. On the way, the guys told Muhyiddin that they know a shortcut they can take to save time so he didn’t mind it. Sometime after, Muhyiddin found himself in the middle of nowhere, in a strange bus, with six strangers holding razors threatening him: “Give us all what you have, or you will have to face a fate in this area in the middle of nowhere that nobody will ever find out”, the poor guy did not fight back at all, instead he took out all what he had held in his pockets, so they ended up taking his cell phone and an amount of money that he was ought to help his aunt with.
In the meantime, Muhyiddin’s father called the emergency line of ARDD – Legal Aid; as he was starting to feel worried at his son who hadn’t returned yet although it has already gotten dark. The father had called his sister who was supposed to be visited by Muhyiddin at her residency in the camp, yet she asserted that her nephew didn’t visit her either. On top of that, his cell phone was turned off, leaving the family extremely worried at him. We advised the father to submit a report to the nearest police station right away, which he luckily did, to receive a phone call later that night from the station telling him that his son is in a police station in the governorate of Mafraq, as Muhyiddin had walked in the road where the gang had left him until he met with a taxi driver and told him his story, so the driver sympathized with him and drove him to the nearest police station, who from their part contacted the police station of the area where Muhyiddin lives, and so Muhyiddin returned safely to his family.
In addition, from the calls that we receive on our emergency line, what happened to Muhyiddin has unfortunately happened to several others, each of whom has had their hardships and losses, thus, we advise our beloved Syrians to pay attention to the phenomena of mini transportation buses that offer their free services; as many of them allege having good intentions to unfortunately perform any kind of misdemeanors, such as blackmailing and robbing. Everybody is ought to spread this information to raise awareness and inform people about what is happening; luckily for Muhyiddin he did not fight back, but his fault from the start was to ride on with strangers in a private bus instead of taking public transportations that all people should take, and this on its own is full of risks that might lead to some ominous consequences in the event of facing any moment of hazard.