ISLAMABAD, June 28: Police busted a gang of extortionists when they arrested three persons who confessed to running a ring in the name of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
They fell in the hands of the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) which had been investigating for month threatening letters and telephone calls received by businessmen of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Murree and places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with the chilling message ‘pay up or prepare to die like Bashir Ahmed Bilour’.
These extortionist demands were made in the name of TTP and followed the killing of the senior Awami National Party (ANP) in a suicide attack in Peshawar last December.
When the CIA launched an investigation it came to know that the calls were made from Miram Shah in North Waziristan. Further surveillance of the number revealed that the caller had been making calls to seven different businessmen in Islamabad on behalf of Alam Khan Wazir, the leader of the group.
The cell number also helped the CIA get the details of their plan and visit to Islamabad.
After getting all the information the investigation agency detailed its staff at Karachi Company bus terminal, and as soon as the alleged extortionists disembarked from a passenger van on Friday the agency’s operatives caught hold of them and shifted them to CIA Centre.
A senior officer of the police said that during a search a list of businessmen and details of the amount demanded by them were recovered from them.
However, the police officer did not reveal the names of the businessmen.
A letterhead of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan was also recovered from them, which carried the names of “Amir Hakimullah Mehsud and Mullah Baitullah Mehsud” and their signature.
The letter starts with “786” and carries the logo of TTP flag. Besides, Tehrik-i-Taliban was written in Urdu in the middle of the page.
The letter was written in Urdu stating: “You have told our representative that you do not know me, but we know each and every thing about you.” It further stated: “Don’t make a mistake of refusing the amount otherwise you will face the fate of Bilour. Last notice will be served on June 26.”
He said that Alam Khan Wazir was a contractor and supervising various construction projects in Bharakau and Bani Gala.
The group members were produced before the media at Rescue-15. They were identified as Alam Khan Wazir, Mohammad Tahir of Malakand, and Mukammal Shah of Upper Dir.
Alam Khan Wazir told reporters that they had no link with the TTP.
He said his sons had heart problem and he had to undergo a surgery for repair of his two valves, which required a huge amount hence he extorted money, he said.
Besides, his two other colleagues have to pay loan of Rs1.2million each, he added.
Replying to a question, Wazir stated that they got the letterhead printed from a man in Miram Shah.
Meanwhile, the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) said it had arrested three persons involved in extortion activities as they were being suspected as activists of Taliban and generating funds for it, police said.
CIA Islamabad received information that a group of outlaws, claiming to be affiliated with TTP was carrying out extortion activities in Rawalpindi/Islamabad and KP in order to arrange finances.
It was also learnt that threatening letters on TTP letterhead were being sent and phone calls from Waziristan were being made to various individuals by this group. On this information, Islamabad police launched a special operation to trace and arrest these outlaws.
Latest techniques of Geo fencing (a technology which helps locate the person through SIM or IMEI numbers) and digital data analysis were employed for this purpose and after hectic efforts, backed by meticulous technical backup Islamabad police arrested Malik Aalam Khan Wazir, resident of Razmak, North Waziristan.
He is being told as the leader and mastermind involved in the heinous offence in Margalla police area.