The theft of the bicycle from Dutchman Koen Roovers has created some turmoil in Pakistan. There were four television interviews devoted to the theft. A Pakistani minister had been openly angry about the case and organized a massive manhunt for bicycle thieves.
The 29-year-old Koen Roovers, who is biking from Weert in the Netherlands to China by bicycle, is still a little overwhelmed. “It’s unbelievable,” he told enthusiastically from the Pakistani city of Hyderabad. “Last Friday my bike was stolen in Hyderabad. I regretted the theft enormous of course, “says Roovers.”
The bike was stolen at a school in Hyderabad, where Koen performed volunteer work for a while. Pakistani friends advised him to involve the media.
Within one day the story of Koen was on the front pages of a large number of Pakistani newspapers and four national television channels in Pakistan interviewed Koen.
The Inspector General of Sindh, the chief of police in Karachi, saw the story on the news and contacted the Sindh Minister for Interior Affairs. National pride was at stake. Then he called with the commanding police officer for Hyderabad and told him: “In 24 hours I want that bike recovered.”
On Saturday hundreds of Pakistani police officers held a massive manhunt in neighborhoods where many criminals live. Within a short time the bike was found and returned by proud Pakistani officials to its rightful owner. “It’s unbelievable,” says Koen. “I was actually certain that I would never see my bike again.”