Karachi: Kidnappers`gang busted
KARACHI: Police have busted a gang of kidnappers comprising two Afghan nationals and a dismissed police official. The gang was particularly involved in kidnapping of Afghan nationals living in the city and was remitting the ransom money across the border to Afghanistan. Capital City Police Officer Waseem Ahmed said this at a press conference here on Sunday. He said that during the past 10 months a new trend of kidnapping for ransom had emerged when Afghan nationals were targeted. The pattern became clear when a number of Afghan nationals associated with the tanneries business were kidnapped and their association had also expressed concern over these kidnappings, the CCPO said.
He said that in six cases of kidnapping for ransom registered with the police a blue and a white Corolla car and a policeman were reported as the common denominator.
The cases were investigated by SSP Investigation East Abdul Khaliq Shaikh and SP Omar Shahid.
The Chief of the Citizens–Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), Sharfuddin Memon, informed Dawn that the CPLC was also assisting in the investigation and a CPLC team was present when the police carried out the raid to arrest the three suspects.
However, none of the CPLC representatives was present during the press conference.
On Sunday morning police spotted the cars in Gulistan–i–Jauhar that fit the description in the FIRs. This led to the raid at an apartment, resulting in the arrest of three suspects identified as Saeed Jan, Gul Badeen and Ayub, a dismissed policeman, the city police chief said.
Saeed Jan and Gul Badeen were Afghan nationals and had a history of involvement in extortion cases and had also been arrested in the past, police said.
Former policeman Ayub was fired from his job for his prolonged absence from the service, police said.
Police have recovered three AK-47 rifles, three pistols, police uniform, handcuffs and chains, Rs1,200,000 in cash and files of property which the suspects had purchased with the ransom money.
The city police chief said that the suspects had collected an estimated ransom of Rs25 million from different kidnapping victims.
The suspects have some associates who are still at large and are being tracked down by the police.
An investigation team, headed by SSP Khaliq Shaikh, is in process of investigating the suspects` contacts in Afghanistan. A so-called fact-sheet was also distributed among the journalists at the press conference, according to which the three suspects had kidnapped Haji Taj Mohammad from Gulshan-i-Iqbal in December 2007, who later paid a ransom of Rs6 million for his release.
Haji Allah Mohammad, kidnapped in March 2008 from Mobina Town, paid Rs6.5 million, Mohammad Shafi, kidnapped from Sharea Faisal in June 2008, paid Rs5.2 million, Saeed Ghafoor, kidnapped from Shah Faisal Colony in July 2008, paid Rs1.7 million and Abdul Hakeem kidnapped from Korangi in September 2008 paid Rs6.5 million for their release according to the fact-sheet.
“Despite their activities of kidnapping for ransom, the suspects, during interrogation, told police proudly that they didn`t miss a single fast during the month of Ramazan,” a member of the investigation team told Dawn.
Giving the statistics of kidnapping for ransom cases, CCPO Waseem Ahmed said that in 2008, 56 cases of kidnapping for ransom were reported, out of which 51 victims were released while five were killed by their kidnappers. So far only one case of kidnapping for ransom was pending, he said, adding that 64 suspects in these cases had been arrested and six kidnappers had been killed by the police.
Earlier, referring to the overall law and order situation in the country, the CCPO said that in comparison with the rest of the provincial capitals the situation in Karachi was quite better. Referring to the crime figures of the present month, he said when compared with the previous months, there was a marked improvement in the figures as the cases of cell phone and vehicle snatching and theft had declined.