Lahore police said on Monday that it had traced three mobile numbers that it believed were used by Shahbaz Taseer’s kidnappers minutes before the abduction.
Investigators said that a China-made mobile phone was dropped by an abductor, which was picked up by a scavenger who deleted the data on the SIM cards.
Shahbaz Taseer, son of slain Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, was abducted last Friday in Lahore’s Gulberg area while he was on his way to work.
The scavenger was traced through the SIM cards’ International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. He was then picked up by Lahore police’s Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) and was transferred to an undisclosed location.
However, investigators managed to retrieve the numbers used through the call history of the mobile phone. The data retrieved from the mobile phone companies revealed that the location of the phone was Gulberg when the calls were made. They also revealed that the abductors used the cell phones to keep each other updated regarding Shahbaz’s kidnapping.
Initially, the police suspected that the scavenger was involved in the abduction but later, it became apparent that the person had no connection with the alleged kidnappers.
Investigators said that this was a major breakthrough in the case and raids were being conducted to arrest the owners of the SIM cards.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2011.