Lahore: Missing British couple – Kidnapping staged to extort parents
LAHORE: Reports that a British couple living in Pakistan had been kidnapped earlier this month were part of a plot by the husband to extort Rs 5 million from his parents, the city’s police chief told a press conference on Sunday.
Awais Hadier Shah, 25, and his wife Jamie William, residents of 203/3-Karim Block, were reported missing on January 10 from Gulberg.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Aslam Tareen said that the couple, both of whom are British nationals, had just been holed up in a hotel room in Liberty while Awais’s friends relayed ransom demands to Awais’s parents.
He said Awais’s friend Adeel had confessed that he had told his parents he would kill Awais and sell Jamie to the Taliban if a Rs5 million ransom was not paid.
Adeel had also told police that Awais and his wife were drug addicts who had come begging to him for two thousand rupees to buy drugs one day, and that was when they made the plan to stage a fake kidnapping.
Jamie told the press conference that she was kept in the hotel by force. She said Awais had warned her that if she tried to escape she would be abducted by the Taliban.
The police chief said that the Organised Crime wing of the police had solved two other kidnapping cases. Fifteen-year-old student Muddasar Mehmood was kidnapped from Ghalib Market on December 29 and his parents were asked for Rs1 million as ransom.
The family paid Rs100,000 but the kidnappers refused to return their child. Later, Crimes Investigation Agency (CIA) teams recovered Muddasar from Chechawatni and arrested suspects Irfan, Abdur Rasheed and Shahbaz.
They later confessed to kidnapping Muddassar in connivance with his classmate Shahbaz, who had lured the victim to the place where he was kidnapped from, Tareen said.
In the second case, the police recovered a retired bank officer, Zafar Farooq, whose kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs10 million. Farooq was abducted on September 6 from Hanjarwal by men posing as buyers for his car, which he had advertised for sale a few days earlier.
The kidnappers had bundled Farooq into the car and driven off in it. They had later sent the car back to his family so they could sell it to raise the ransom amount. Tareen said that the police later found and arrested the four kidnappers, who he identified as Mohammad Aslam, Abdul Hafeez, Mohammad Abid and Sheikh Asim.