A gang posing as cops kidnapped the 20-year-old son of former Delhi municipal corporation councillor Shambhu Dayal Sharma and held him hostage for six days, demanding a ransom of Rs 50 crore for his release.
The college student was released on October 3 after Sharma reportedly paid Rs 1 crore.
Police said on Sunday four suspects were arrested while a hunt is on to capture another eight men, including the lynchpin who is a real estate agent in outer Delhi.
Sharma’s son was kidnapped around 11am on September 27 when he was on his way to college in a BMW car.
Two men in police uniform stopped him near Subash Place in northwest Delhi and commanded him to get into a Scorpio, filled with accomplices and parked by the roadside. When the young man got in, the gangsters overpowered and blindfolded him, while an accomplice took the BMW’s wheels.
“Using the youth’s mobile phone, the kidnappers contacted his father and demanded Rs 50 crore,” said joint commissioner of police (crime) RS Yadav.
The hostage was taken to hideouts in Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan — including farmhouses in Sirsa and Nawalgarh — as the gangsters waited for Sharma’s response to their ransom call.
The kidnappers used to send the youth’s audio recordings to his father through WhatsApp.
“In most of the audio clips, the youth could be heard requesting his father to pay and save his life,” said an investigator.
Sharma, who is a property dealer, negotiated hard and secured his son’s freedom for Rs 1 crore. How and where the cash was paid is not known.
The ransom money is said to be with two men, identified as Mahesh and Manjeet Dabas, who are on the run. They are suspected to have fled to Nepal. Both have reportedly worked with Sharma in the real estate business.
“They dropped my son in Gurgaon and hailed a taxi for him. I knew one of the conspirators, Chanchal, for some years. Chanchal’s relative Mahesh is the key conspirator,” the former Congress councillor said.
Police managed to arrest four of the kidnappers on specific information that they would come in a Swift to meet associates in west Delhi’s Najafgarh. After their arrest, the suspects led police to the BMW and the Scorpio.
Sedatives were also found, which police suspect were kept as standby in case the youth showed any resistance.
Besides wearing police uniform, two gangsters carried fake wireless sets and a traffic challan machine to make their deception look real.
“Once inside the Scorpio, the youth was pinned down to the floor and threatened to kill him if he raised the alarm,” officer Yadav said.