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Vadodara Man, Guilty of International Parental Kidnapping

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EDISON, NJ- An Indian American man who lived in Edison, NJ has been convicted of international parental kidnapping. Amitkumar Kanubhai Patel from Vadodara, Gujarat who formerly lived in Edison took his US born child to India and then did not bring it back to the mother. Patel was convicted last week of one count of international parental kidnapping following a five-day trial before US District Judge Renee Marie Bumb in Camden federal court in New Jersey.

The international parental kidnapping offense of which Patel stands convicted carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a maximum fine of USD 250,000.

Patel is a naturalized US citizen who had been living in India. He was convicted of obstructing the parental rights of his child’s mother by kidnapping the child and failing to return the child to the mother in the US.

According to documents filed in this case, the child’s mother and Patel were in a relationship and lived together in NJ. They were never married. According to the child’s mother, Patel wanted to take the child to India to introduce him to Patel’s parents and also get a DNA testing which he claimed was necessary to get Patel’s family owned property in India. Reportedly, Patel also told the mother that to get an Indian visa for the child, he need to get the sole custody. Patel then directed the mother to tell the court that there was a mutual understanding regarding the custody of their child and tell that as she was unemployed she could not care for the child.

Patel then flew to India with the child and after several days phoned the mother to say that they won’t be bringing back the child.

This is when, the mother obtained a legal counsel, and in 2018, the New Jersey Superior Court, entered an order that directed Patel to return the child to the United States.

In 2020, Patel and the child flew to the UK, where he was arrested upon arrival based on a provisional arrest request submitted by the United States.

After a custody hearing in London, court ordered it was in the best interest of the child that the child be returned to his paternal grandparents in India. Patel was extradited to the US in September 2021 to stand trial in the case.

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