LAHORE: While the Lahore police continue to grapple with extortion cases, another incident has been reported in the provincial capital on Thursday.
Reportedly, a property dealer in Green Town has alleged that unidentified suspects from tribal areas were threatening him with dire consequences if he failed to pay. Wishing to remain anonymous, the victim revealed that the suspects contacted him via mobile messaging application Whatsapp a few months ago.
“They threatened me through messages and calls, stating that I would face dire consequences if I failed to pay the amount,” the victim said. The suspects also forbade the victim from approaching law enforcement agencies.
However, despite extorting Rs28 million, the suspects were demanding an additional Rs20 million, claimed the victim. On Thursday, he approached the police in order to register a complaint.
However, instead of taking swift action, the cops told the victim to approach the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), saying this was a matter for the cybercrime wing.
When contacted, Green Town SHO Riaz Ahmed said that according to the complainant, the case was at least three-months-old. It was only recently that the victim decided to approach police, he added.
“Besides, the threatening calls were made through Whatsapp, a social media app, meaning that the case was related to cybercrime,” he explained.
He added that DSP Circle was also looking into the case to probe the matter. Further facts will only be unearthed after thorough investigations, he said.
Several weeks ago, unidentified armed assailants shot at and injured a man identified as Habibullah in Shahdara.
The assailants opened fire on the victim after he refused to respond to a call for extortion by a banned outfit.
Habibullah was returning home after offering his prayers when the incident occurred.
He suffered critical injuries and was shifted to a hospital for medical treatment. In the complaint he filed at the police station, the victim’s brother said that it was too dark to identify the licence plate number of the motorcycle.
The victim’s brother claimed that the incident was related to threatening calls received in December 2018.
“The caller tried to extort money from my brother. When he refused to pay, they opened fire at his vehicle in January 2019,” he said. Despite the many weeks that have passed since, police have failed to make any progress in the case.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2019.