Chennai Suburban Police on Tuesday arrested four men in connection with the kidnapping of a U.K. citizen of Sri Lankan Tamil origin in Pallavaram last month.
A portion of the ransom money that was paid to the kidnappers was recovered and a search is on for two others, including a Sri Lankan national, Chennai Suburban Police Commissioner S.R. Jangid said.
Speaking to mediapersons on Wednesday, he said P. Shanmugavel, the U.K. citizen, had married Radhika in 2007. While he was based mostly in England, his family lived in Pozhichalur here. He had come to Chennai in April and on June 22, was travelling in a car driven by Ramu, to Triplicane.
At Veteran Lines in Pallavaram, their vehicle was intercepted by a couple of autorickshaws from which a group of men emerged, overpowered Shanmugavel and Ramu and bundled them into another car, waiting some distance away.
They were blindfolded and taken to a house in a desolate location far away from Chennai.
The kidnappers called Radhika and demanded a ransom of Rs. 25 lakh. Later in the evening, she handed over a suitcase containing Rs.17.5 lakh and a little later, Shanmugavel was let off in Anna Nagar, along with Ramu.
Following a complaint, the Pallavaram police and a special crime team started investigations and at Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam Radial Road on Tuesday evening, intercepted the vehicle that was used to kidnap the two men.
Police arrested Janarthanam, Srinivasan, Suresh and Bhaskar, Mr. Jangid said, adding that a search was on for Balamurugan Paramasivam, a Sri Lankan citizen, and Shiva.
Balamurugan was well known to Shanmugavel as they were business partners earlier, but had split owing to differences over a money transaction.
The Pallavaram police said Balamurugan had in the past threatened to get even with Shanmugavel.
However, the whereabouts of Balamurugan was not known, police said, suspecting that he would have left the country.
Burglars held, property recovered
Police also recovered gold jewellery and valuables, including idols of gods and goddesses burgled from a temple, following the arrest of eight men from different places in the city suburbs.
Mr. Jangid said that among the recovered property included four ‘panchaloha' idols of gods and goddesses stolen from the Ekambareshwarar temple in Nanmangalam, near Tambaram. Silver articles and expensive pooja items were also recovered.
In all, jewellery weighing 112 sovereigns and one kg of silver articles that had been lost in many crime cases in Tambaram, Peerkankaranai, Pazhavanthangal and Madipakkam police station limits were recovered.
The value of the recovered articles was Rs.16.3 lakh, Mr.Jangid said. V. Varadharaju, Deputy Commissioner of Police, St. Thomas Mount, was also present.