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Missing | 'Thieves abduct' Indian in UK

Local authorities pursue the line that he may have been targeted by thieves.

india Updated: Jul 16, 2006 01:18 IST

An Indian cricketer from a Punjab team currently on a Britain tour has gone missing raising concerns for his safety.

The police in Middlesbrough in north England have stepped up their search for Dalbir Singh, 18, who arrived in London recently on what is said to be his first trip outside India. He has been reported missing since Monday evening.

Dalbir's family in Punjab has been informed that he has gone missing.

Dalbir is part of the ongoing two-week tour organised by the Saltburn Cricket Club, whose overseas professional, Nav Singh, hails from Punjab.

The missing cricketer is reported to speak limited English. He vanished from Middlesbrough and the Cleveland police are now examining CCTV film footage taken from cameras monitoring the town centre, where he was last seen.

Dalbir did not return to his teammates after they had been dropped off in Middlesbrough town centre to do some shopping.

Inspector Paul Richardson of the Cleveland police told the local media: "The rest of the group did meet up, but Dalbir was missing."

Local authorities are pursuing the line that he may have been targeted by thieves who spotted him spending money in the shopping centre. The police are reported to keeping an 'open mind' about this possibility.

Richardson said: "At this moment in time we are really concerned. We are keen to hear from anyone who has seen him. This young man is in a strange environment. I really need to make more inquiries to find out to whether he has gone off on his own or anything more sinister has happened.

"Dalbir has never been to this country. We are not aware of him having any family here. He has come to this country on a cricketing tour and has just disappeared without trace."

In August 2003, five members of a visiting Indian women's cricket team had disappeared amidst suspicion that the vanishing act was an attempt to stay on in Britain after the expiry of their three-week visa.