LAHORE: Law enforcement agencies investigating the abduction cases of Shahbaz Taseer, son of slain former governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer, and American aid expert Dr Warren Weinstein reportedly made a breakthrough but have simultaneously arrived at a dead-end, officials privately informed The Express Tribune.
Investigators have traced the initial kidnappers in both high-profile abduction cases, and confirmed that both are kidnappings for ransom, but discovered that the original kidnappers “sold” their victims to another set of abductors at a higher ransom, sources said.
The ‘new’ kidnappers have been identified and are organised criminals, with a strong background of such abductions, but so far, no link has been established with banned militant outfits in either case, sources added.
Investigators said that the two cases are not linked and two separate gangs are involved in these abductions for ransom.
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The victims, however, have been moved to a location where Pakistani law enforcers and security agencies cannot act to recover them, they added.
The investigators said the only option possibly left for the abducted persons’ families is to negotiate a ransom, which is yet to be communicated.
Investigators say they have communicated to the families that going after the abductors could endanger the victim’s lives. The agencies are playing it ‘safe’ and are waiting for the kidnappers to ‘contact’ the families, sources added.
It may be weeks before any contact is established since the kidnappers know that they are far from the reach of security agencies, a senior official familiar with the matter told The Express Tribune.
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The lack of contact by the abductors was corroborated by a joint investigation report sent to the interior ministry that analysed call data records of Taseer’s family members.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2011.
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