DSP, others remanded in kidnapping case

Police official, driver and gunman booked for abducting builder and taking Rs1.5 million in ransom


Our Correspondent December 16, 2020

An anti-terrorism court sent on Tuesday the Saeedabad DSP and others accused of kidnapping a builder for ransom on physical remand until Thursday.

The investigation officer (IO) told the court that a police mobile, in the use of Saeedabad DSP Rashid Iqbal, was used in the kidnapping of builder Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui. He further stated investigation had also revealed that Siddiqui had been detained in Iqbal's office after the abduction.

He said the official weapons of the accused cops and the police van used to kidnap Siddiqui ha been confiscated.

The court handed over the accused to the police on physical remand until Thursday, seeking a progress report at the next hearing.

Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) officials had arrested DSP Iqbal, his driver, head constable Nasir, and his gunman, constable Amir Tanoli, on charges of abducting Siddiqui and collecting RS1.5 million in ransom for his release.

Siddiqui was kidnapped from Mughal Hazara Goth in Gulistan-e-Johar on December 2, and kept locked up inside a room. He was allegedly handcuffed, blindfolded and taken away by four men in police uniform and travelling in a police mobile. They were said to have been accompanied by three others in a white car.

According to AVCC officials, one of the uniformed men had introduced himself to Siddiqui as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) assistant director and demanded Rs10 million to set him free.

When Siddiqui said he wasn't carrying the amount, they gave him a mobile phone and told him to arrange the sum, the officials said. Siddiqui then called a friend for the purpose, but the latter said he could gather only up to Rs1 million, they added.

The kidnappers, however, insisted that Siddiqui push his friend to gather the cash and bring it to a spot near Sohrab Goth, according to AVCC officials. However, they later changed the location to a spot near Sabzi Mandi, where they held Siddiqui captive in the bushes, they said, adding that after collecting the ransom, the kidnappers forced Siddiqui's friend to sign a stamp paper and fled.

On December 7, the man who had introduced himself as the NAB assistant director called Siddiqui, demanding he bring Rs500,000 near Five Star Chowrangi to collect the stamp paper, the officials said. But the kidnappers took the money and fled without handing over the stamp paper to Siddiqui, they added.

A case for Siddiqui's abduction was registered at the Gulistan-e-Johar police station on December 9 and assigned to the AVCC.

A three-member committee, led by Central Investigation Agency DIG Arif Hanif and comprising West DIG Asim Khan and AVCC SSP Abdullah Ahmed, is investigating the case.

According to AVCC SSP Ahmed, six suspects, including policemen, have been arrested so far and more arrests are expected. He said the DSP's son, Rafad, was also a suspect and was yet to be apprehended.

He added that the entire ransom amount could not yet be recovered, but its recovery was expected following Rafad's arrest.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2020.

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