A day after kidnapped head of multinational Alstom T&D Rathin Basu was rescued, police arrested the brain behind the operation — a Noida-based businessman Akhand Pratap Singh — on Sunday.
The 29-year-old mechanical engineer with properties across NCR, including a garment shop in Noida sector 18, confessed that he had engineered the entire operation as he needed the ransom to get himself out of an “acute financial crisis”.
“They planned the kidnapping in November but only a week back they decided on Basu. They wanted to ask for Rs. 50-40 lakh,” said Preetinder Singh, senior superintendent of police, Gautam Budh Nagar.
Basu, who was kidnapped when he was returning to his home in Noida sector 44 from his office in sector 65 on Friday, was rescued from one of Akhand Pratap Singh's bungalows in the posh Pandav Nagar locality in Meerut after a five-hour long joint operation by Noida and Meerut police.
Last August, Singh took a loan of R1 crore from a friend to buy a piece of land in Gurgaon, which he planned to use for a commercial purpose. However, it turned out be disputed property and his money got stuck. Police claim, Singh, was also facing problems at his garment store.
A desperate Singh hit upon the kidnapping plan and around November bought a WagonR, which was used in Friday's operation.
When a WagonR rammed into Basu's Toyota Camry, Basu and his driver got down to inspect the damage. It was then that three armed men kidnapped the country president and managing director of power industry supplier Alstom T&D Limited.
The car was later recovered from Singh's house in Meerut, said police.
Police claim Singh took the help of his driver Naresh Pal and the latter's relatives Awdhesh, Sanju Thakur and Rakesh and Narendra, a mechanic at sector 9.
While Awdhesh and Rakesh are still absconding, police arrested Naresh Pal, Narendra and Sanju Thakur on Saturday.HT Correspondent