Mohammad Imtiaz refused to give in to his abductors’ demands for money

A gang that specialises in kidnapping wealthy people for ransom met its match in a textile businessman recently.

Not only did Mohammad Imtiaz refuse to give in to his abductors’ demands for money, he also made sure they were arrested in two days.

On Saturday, the police nabbed nine men suspected to be involved in the kidnap of Imtiaz, a Sri Lankan Tamil, from his house in Seven Wells.

The suspects — RinJohn (32), S. Kumar (50), K. Premkumar (43), G. Maharaja (45), S. Dwaraka (24), V. Thulasi (25), Mohammad Ismail (26), Riaz Ahmad (29) and K. Jai Kamal (25) — had pretended to be CB-CID officials and abducted Imtiaz on Thursday on the pretext of questioning him. After futile attempts to get money from him, they took him to a place near Red Hills and sought a ransom from his wife but released him a while later. The suspects are friends; Rinjohn is a resident of Ekattuthangal and the others belong to Tondiarpet, Royapuram and Broadway. They were nabbed at different locations, based on the information obtained from a few kidnappers who were arrested initially.

R. Sundaram, inspector (law & order), Seven Wells police, who led the team that nabbed the gang, said that the men were notorious for identifying wealthy victims and kidnapping them for ransom.

The main suspect, RinJohn, served a jail term in a gold robbery case in Salem a few years ago. A Sri Lankan Tamil, he is a small-time textile businessman in Broadway.

Police said that the gang went to Imtiaz’s house on Sadayappa Street, pretending to be police officers, and said they wanted to interrogate him regarding his not staying at a refugee camp for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. Imtiaz accompanied them in their SUV. When they reached Mint, the men sitting next to him attacked Imtiaz, said police sources.

The gang then drove him around for a few hours. Police said that throughout the day, the suspects kept demanding money from Imtiaz, who told them that he did not have any. “They started with a demand of Rs. 1 crore and soon scaled it down to Rs. 50,000 but Imtiaz refused point-blank,” said a police source.

The kidnappers then gave up and drove him to Red Hills where they called Imtiaz’s wife Inur Razak. They sought a ransom of Rs. 1 crore.

Ms. Razak, who had gone to Sri Lanka to visit her parents, rushed back to the city and lodged a complaint with the police. A short while later, she received a call from her husband, who said he had been freed and was at Red Hills. He returned home a while later.

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