Teen terror: 4 youth of kidnapping gang held
3 ON THE RUN Arrested for threatening kidnap victim to withdraw police complaint
KOPAR KHAIRANE: The Kopar Khairane police claim to have busted a gang that specialises in kidnapping for ransom, with the arrest of four men aged between 19 and 25 last week. They have been remanded in police custody for 13 days.
The police are on the lookout for three more men suspected to be part of the group which is charged with kidnapping and threatening a Kopar Khairane resident. The gang had allegedly been threatening the complainant to withdraw his police complaint. According to Mukund Hatote, senior police inspector of Kopar Khairane police station, “Santosh Rathod, 30, a businessman residing at sector 19 in Kopar Khairane, had been threatened by five to six extortionists. He had paid them Rs2 lakh, but on November 30, when he was getting his vehicle cleaned at Tamanna garage in Kopar Khairane, the kidnappers arrived in a car and forcibly took Rathod and his vehicle away.”
Added Hatote, “Rathod has told us that he was kept at a flat in Govandi. They demanded Rs5 lakh to release him. He was later dropped off at LP stop in Nerul by the kidnappers, who took away his vehicle keys and documents.”
Rathod had filed a complaint with the police on the same night.
The kidnappers then began calling Rathod to demand that he withdraw the complaint. The police managed to trace the callers through the calls made by them. The police got a tip-off on January 14 that the kidnappers were in Mahape. A trap was laid, and three gang members were arrested.
One of the arrested youth include Imran Khan alias Kalia, 25, of Ghansoli, suspected to be the leader of the gang. The other two were identified as Raj Prajapati, 21, of Kopar Khairane, and Pratik Shivpunje, 21, of Ghansoli. Following their interrogation Vinod Pal, 19, a resident of Kopar Khairane, was arrested a day later. The police are on the lookout for Mohammed Habib, Hrishikesh Masulkar and one more person.
Members of the gang, including their suspected leader, Imran Kalia (in grey T-shirt) were arrested by Kopar Khairane police last week.