KARACHI, June 22: Three suspected kidnappers were killed and two policemen were wounded in a late-night exchange of gunfire between captors and law-enforcers in the Ibrahim Hyderi area on Saturday that led to the safe recovery of the State Bank of Pakistan joint director who had been picked up more than two weeks ago for a Rs20 million ransom, said Anti-Violent Crime Cell SP Niaz Khoso.
He added that 46-year-old Alauddin Achakzai had been kidnapped by five armed men when he was driving home from office near Saeedabad on June 5. The following day his car was found abandoned on Mauripur Road and his family received a call for payment of Rs20 million ransom, the SP said.
“The investigators requested the family to keep the callers engaged in conversation and bargain the ransom amount,” said Ahmed Chinoy, chief of the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC).
“In the meantime, we traced the calls and exact location of the kidnappers. Finally, they were spotted in this area on the outskirts of Karachi.”
He said the raid was conducted by the joint teams of the anti-violent crime cell (AVCC), CPLC and Malir district police that concluded successfully.
“The banker was found tied in chains in one of the rooms of the house where the kidnappers had kept him,” he said.
The police also seized an AK-47 assault rifle and two TT pistols found in the possession of the abductors following the encounter, he said.
Mr Chinoy said that two policemen, who also sustained bullet wounds in the shootout, were admitted to hospital for treatment.
Though the kidnappers killed in the encounter remained unidentified, the police investigators said they had reason to believe that the deceased suspects hailed from Balochistan. They suspected that the gang conducted at least five kidnappings for ransom in different parts of Karachi.
“We technically examined the cellphones and other stuff seized from the kidnappers,” said Niaz Khoso, SP of the AVCC. “The record shows most numbers of Turbat and it also emerged during the course of investigation that they had made several calls from Turbat using these phones.”
He said: “Our record shows that there are some five cases of kidnapping in Karachi in which ransom calls had been received from Turbat.”
On June 1, a joint team of the CPLC and AVCC killed one suspected kidnapper in an encounter in Gulshan-i-Maymar to recover 57-year-old doctor who had been kidnapped for Rs50 million from Liaquatabad. Similarly, two other successful raids in different areas of the city resulted in safe recovery of victims.
The investigators said that this year alone 26 kidnapping for ransom cases had been reported and in surprisingly better performance 25 of them were solved. The Saturday encounter was the 14th of its kind that resulted in the safe release of the SBP joint director.
“In 14 encounters, a total of 30 kidnappers have been killed. All of them luckily concluded in the safe recovery of kidnap victims,” said SP Khoso.
“We believe that all kidnapping for ransom cases are reported to police. However, there is a trend of short-term kidnapping in which criminals pick up any of their target at gunpoint, bargain a ransom deal and release him a few hours after payment. These kinds of cases are hardly reported to the police,” he explained.
In the Saturday raid, he said, the police did not that think there would be any fourth aide of the deceased kidnappers and none of them managed to run away. The fresh raid was conducted on a rented house, he added.
“The police have traced the landlord who would be questioned about the credentials of the tenants to whom he offered his property,” said the AVCC SP.