LAHORE: Police claim to have arrested the ringleader of the gang who kidnapped for ransom the 14-month-old son of an overseas Pakistani at Khushab.

The investigation revealed that the prime suspect arrested by police late on Saturday night was an employee of a security organisation. Identified as Mohammad Naseer, the suspect was next-door neighbour of businessman Abdul Rehman whose minor son was kidnapped a week ago during a house robbery at Khushab’s Haddali village.

Dual nationality holder Abdul Rehman has been settled in South Africa for the last 15 years and the seven-member gang of robbers kidnapped his son for Rs100 ransom besides looting gold ornaments and other valuables from his house at Khushab. The suspects used the network of South Africa to demand ransom amount from Abdul Rehman for the release of his minor son.

Police successfully recovered the minor boy from a far-flung area of Attock and arrested two suspects some 42 hours after the incident.

An official privy to the development told Dawn that during the course of investigation police obtained data of the calls which established the contacts between the two arrested criminals and the five other suspects. During analysis, he said, police raided and arrested four others from the boundary of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

He said the investigation stunned the detectives when they came to know that the ringleader was a next-door neighbour of Abdul Rehman and was an employee of a state organisation. For further verification, police gleaned more evidence which suggested that he had planned the kidnap of the infant and executed it successfully, the official said.

Being immediate neighbour, he said, Naseer had provided all the details of the house to his gang members. The official said the prime suspect took three months to prepare the house robbery and kidnap plan. He said Naseer waited in a car outside the house when others looted valuables inside the house. After committing the crime all gang members dispersed to various parts of the province, he said, adding that Naseer was quite confident that he would manage to dodge the law enforcers and joined his duty.

Meanwhile, the official said, police completed the work on the case and trapped Naseer through his relatives as it was rather tough to arrest him at his office. As soon as he came back to his house at the village, a raiding team arrested him.

“We have arrested all the seven members of the gang involved in the heinous crime,” the official said, adding that the Punjab police were still in contact with South Africa’s police to get details about the foreign network of gangsters who contacted the overseas Pakistani to obtain ransom.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2022

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