Skokie man charged with parental kidnapping

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A north suburban man is facing federal kidnapping charges for allegedly taking his children out of the country without their mother’s knowledge.

Skokie resident Murtaza Ali, 44, was charged with one count of international parental kidnapping by a federal grand jury, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Ali took his three minor children on a flight to Istanbul on May 2, federal authorities claim. The children’s mother did not know about the trip or give permission for them to travel abroad.

She realized they were missing when Ali and the children didn’t show up to pick her up from a social gathering, authorities said. Once she made it home, the house was a mess and their luggage and passports were missing.

Ali, a Pakistani national, called the children’s mother from Turkey and said he planned to take them to Karachi, Pakistan, with him, authorities claim.

He was arrested at O’Hare International Airport when he returned with the children on May 6, authorities said.

Ali is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in U.S. District Court, the statement said. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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