Karachi: 2 Afghans, ex-constable nabbed
KARACHI: The Investigation staff of East Zone and Supervisory Police Officer Sohrab Goth apprehended a gang involved in extortion and abduction of traders and recovered a substantial quantity of arms and ammunition as well as extorted money. CCPO Karachi Waseem Ahmed told the media on Sunday that there were leads that the criminals might have links with the Taliban in Afghanistan. According to Investigation sources, a group had been active in Gulistan-e-Jauhar for the past few months extorting millions of rupees from traders by threatening them and abducting those who refused to pay extortion. The criminals were also threatening the traders not to report the matter to the police.
An industrial association held a meeting with the senior officers, and later the Capital City Police Officer Karachi Waseem Ahmed issued strict directives to the police stations concerned to immediately register cases and apprehend the criminals as soon as possible.
In this connection, Saeed Ghaffor, a resident of Gulistan–e–Jauhar, who owns a leather factory in Korangi, complained that, a few weeks ago, he was going towards his factory along with his brother Syed Kamaluddin and nephew Saeed Nasir.
When they reached Block-5, Shah Faisal Colony, four suspects ñ one of them wearing a police uniform ñ pulled up in a Suzuki Alto car and took him to an unknown place and later received an extortion of Rs1.7 million from his brother and released him after confining him for nine days. The case was reported to the Shah Faisal Colony police station.
Abdul Hakim, another resident of Gulistan–e-Jauhar, lodged a complaint at Korangi police station stating that he, along with his brother, was moving towards his factory situated near Hamid Leather Company in Korangi Industrial Area, when four suspects armed with a Kalashnikov came in a Corolla car, kidnapped him and kept him at an unknown place for five days.
The criminals initially demanded Rs20 million but settled the ransom amount at Rs2.5 million and released him. Afterwards, they again contacted him and took Rs4 million in extortion at different times and places. He reported the matter to the police on the advice of his association.
Yet another resident of Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Mohammed Shafi, also a trader, reported that, a few months ago, five criminals riding in an Alto car intercepted him in Block 16–A, Sharea Faisal. Three of the five suspects came out of the car and kidnapped him at gunpoint. They took him to an unknown place and after 48 hours made a call to his father Noor Mohammed and, after receiving Rs5.2 million in ransom, released him with threats not to inform the matter to the police.
Another victim Syed Habibullah, also a resident of Gulistan-e–Jauhar, who is running a factory in Korangi, complained that a few weeks ago he received a call on his cellphone by some unidentified people who threatened him to pay Rs 1 million in extortion or get ready to face dire consequences.
But he refused to pay the money and left for Lahore for work and from there he left for Afghanistan. Later, when he returned to Karachi, he was told that, like his other friends, he too would have to face kidnapping if he did not pay extortion. The suspects again called Habibullah on his cellphone and, due to fear, he withdrew cash of Rs980,000 and went to the instructed place and handed over the demanded money. The matter was reported to the Sharea Faisal police station. Sources said that, during the course of investigation, a wanted extortionist, Ayub, who is an ex-police constable, was held by SPO Sohrab Goth Irfan Bahadur and was handed over to ZIT East Zone Investigation. Later, ZIT East Zone Investigation apprehended Ayub’s accomplices Saeed Jan and Gul Badeen with weapons and some of the extorted money.
CCPO Karachi Waseem Ahmed told the media that the investigation staff of East Zone, including SPO Sohrab Goth, conducted a series of raids and succeeded in arresting the gangsters from near Jauhar Square.
The police also recovered three Kalashnikovs, three pistols, Rs1.2 million of the extorted amount, police uniforms with kit and handcuffs. The CCPO said that Ayub was an ex–PC and he was dismissed from Sindh Police Department a few years before for remaining absent from duty. He later joined the extortionist group, while Saeed Jan and Gul Badeen are Afghan nationals and were involved in extortion, kidnapping for ransom and murder cases.
On a query regarding the links of this gang with the Taliban, the CCPO said that the police were questioning the criminals from this angle, adding, there were some leads that they might have been sent by the Taliban to Karachi for funding and until now they had extorted more than Rs20 million.
The CCPO said that the task was achieved with the coordination of Citizen Police Liaison Committee (CPLC). Interestingly, no CPLC member was present during the briefing, as sources in the CPLC said that they were not called by the police to the media briefing.
Meanwhile, the IG Sindh has announced a reward of Rs0.5 million for the raiding party.