Rawalpindi: Drug peddler leads police to kidnappers, but not all
RAWALPINDI: A drug peddler cracking down under interrogation has led city police to recover two kidnapped vegetable merchants and bust an 18-member gang of kidnappers. City Police Officer Saud Aziz announced on Friday that five members of the gang had been arrested but a police officer among them “is yet to be captured”.
Flanked by SSP (Operation) Yasin Farooq, SP Khurram Shahzad, DSP Rana Shahid and other officers, the CPO told newsmen at his office that it had been “a challenging case” for the police for six weeks and efforts were underway to arrest remaining members of the gang, including police officer Sarfraz belonging to the Crime Investigation Agency of Islamabad.
It was information offered by a drug peddler during his interrogation for drug trafficking that led the city police to raid the kidnappers den on Friday and free the two merchants who were kidnapped last November.
Merchant Shahid Mehmood of Islamabad, and his friend Shahbaz Bhatti visiting from Lahore, were being kept in a house in Naseerabad locality under threats to Shahid’s family that they would be killed if Rs50 million were not paid in ransom.
Their ordeal began when a government van, with a blue revolving light on top, intercepted their car near the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Two men in police uniform emerged from the van, pulled the two friends out of their car and pushed them into the van and drove off.
A third man pushed out the driver of Shahid’s car and drove off with it in the direction of Islamabad. The car was soon found abandoned but the two merchants had vanished.
A telephone call informed Shahid’s parents the next day that their son and his friend had been kidnapped and demanded Rs50 million in ransom.
As negotiations progressed persuading the kidnappers to lower the ransom amount to Rs30 million, it was by sheer chance that police got information about the kidnappers from the drug peddler.
CPO Aziz said acting on the information police raided the house, freed Shahid and Shahbaz and arrested three men and two women found in the house. He identified them as Javaid Ahmed, Ahmed Khan, Mohammad Shah, his wife Nagina and another woman Roheen, wife of Faizullah.
He said the same gang had kidnapped a doctor from Taxila some months back and released him after receiving Rs2.5 million in ransom. As if to explain the police’s difficulties in reaching the kidnappers on its own, the CPO said unlisted cellphone SIMs were used in such crimes and that his requests to the authorities to stop issuing unlisted SIMs had borne no fruit.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.