Rawalpindi: Extortionists active again: Police trace threatening call
RAWALPINDI: The threatening call that a Pathan family of the city received from extortionists last week has been traced to Kotlung, a place near Swabi in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province, according to police sources. DSP Jamil Baig of Waris Khan precinct told Dawn that businessman Naveed Sharif has received no further calls after the Thursday’s but the police had taken measures to protect the family. According to Sharif the caller had identified himself as “TTP (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan) commander Lodhi” and demanded Rs20 million, with the threat of kidnapping him and his family if the demand was not met.
“Police have been collecting phone call data of the caller to check the whereabouts of other people in contact with him or his potential targets for extortion,” the officer told Dawn after a session with Sharif, who owns a small factory and is in property business.
During the interview session, Sharif reportedly stated that he had hired two private security guards belonging to KP who might have been annoyed when he terminated their services after some time.
Police have meanwhile registered a case and started investigations.
According to the Counter Terrorism Department of the Punjab government, it is the latest in phoned threats or extortion notes have been delivered to wealthy families in the recent past.
On September 2 a rich businessman from Mohmand Agency settled in Rawalpindi found a suspicious parcel hanging at the gate of his ‘dera’ (compound) in Westridge area some days after receiving a call demanding money. Security experts discovered an extortion note and an explosive material in the parcel.
Three days earlier an explosive device was thrown at the clinic of a doctor near Race Course on the Peshawar Road. It caused some damage but no causalities.
A note found at the site announced the blast was the work of TTP. A telephone call came later to the doctor demanding a huge sum.