KARACHI, May 17: Police officials investigating the kidnapping of Pakistani-American Amir Hamza suspected the involvement of his ‘friend’ in it after they captured him along with a woman from a hideout in Defence View in the early hours of Friday.
Mr Hamza, 23, who had been abducted on May 14, was safely recovered while three suspected kidnappers were gunned down during a shoot-out with a joint team of Anti-Violent Crime Cell and Citizens-Police Liaison Committee in a Defence View bungalow.
Mr Hamza’s purported friend, Mr Fahad, and a woman, Ms Saeeda, were detained during the raid, the officials said.
“We suspect the role of Fahad [in the kidnapping], because his family did not receive any ransom call if it is assumed that he had also been kidnapped along with Hamza,” said CPLC chief Ahmed Chinoy.
“According to the information we have gathered, Fahad has remained involved in small crimes and drugs,” added Mr Chinoy.
It appeared that he had orchestrated Mr Hamza’s kidnapping, said Mr Chinoy. Similarly, he added, the woman in her initial statement before the police investigators claimed that she had gone to the bungalow for an ‘interview’ for the position of a ‘secretary’ of one of the deceased kidnappers. “However, we believe she was an accomplice.”
One of the deceased kidnappers was identified as Nazeer Pathan, a resident of Shireen Jinnah Colony and originally hailing from Dir, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Another was said to be Kala Iqbal alias Chief, a resident of Dalmia, while the identity of the third kidnapper was being ascertained, the officials said.
They added that the suspects had been operating in Defence and near the Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine in Clifton.
Mr Chinoy said all family members of Mr Hamza were American citizens. The US government was in touch for his safe release, he said. The CPLC chief said Mr Hamza had come to Pakistan for the treatment of his ailing father when he was kidnapped on May 14 in Defence.AVCC chief Niaz Khoso told Dawn that the kidnappers had demanded Rs20 million as a ransom for the release of Mr Hamza. The call was traced to have been made from Defence View on Wednesday night at around 8pm, he added.
He said the kidnappers had hired the bungalow around a month back apparently for the purpose of kidnapping. A car found from the house was also hired on rent, he added.
The CPLC chief opined that sometimes criminals used congested localities as their hideout where they felt ‘comfortable’ as no one would suspect them there. In other cases, kidnappers were found taking captives to remote areas of Sindh. For instance, he said, a businessman from Defence was kidnapped three months ago and taken to some remote rural areas of Sindh by kidnappers. He returned home 15 days back, but the family appeared tight-lipped about any ransom paid for his release.
“Overall our performance of safely recovering kidnapped victims without payment of ransom is around 90pc,” the CPLC chief claimed.