Firozabad businessman jailed for ‘fake kidnap, ₹100 crore ransom’ drama
Gupta went missing on July 22 when he didn’t return home. Later, his wife Sarika lodged an FIR against a businesswoman of Firozabad, Neeta Pandey. The Special Task Force (STF) and Firozabad police were entrusted the task of tracing the businessman.lucknow Updated: Aug 02, 2017 14:06 IST
Firozabad businessman Sanjeev Gupta was arrested and sent to jail on Tuesday for allegedly staging his own kidnapping.
Gupta’s wife and two other relatives were also arrested for aiding and abetting him in the ‘fake’ kidnapping drama wherein a demand of Rs 100 crore ransom for his ‘release’ had made headlines.
“Gupta was charged under various IPC sections in the case along with his wife Sarika, nephew Vikalp Gupta and brother-in-law Sagar Gupta. They were presented before a court, which sent them to jail,” said AK Pandey, SSP, Firozabad.
Gupta went missing on July 22 when he didn’t return home. Later, his wife Sarika lodged an FIR against a businesswoman of Firozabad, Neeta Pandey. The Special Task Force (STF) and Firozabad police were entrusted the task of tracing the businessman.
Sarika later received three messages demanding a ransom of Rs 100 crore and cautioning the family members against involving the police in the matter.
Meanwhile, Gupta’s locked car was traced on the roadside in Gabhana area of Aligarh.
The location of Gupta’s cell phone kept changing and finally he was traced by the STF in Panipat (Haryana) on July 28 and brought to Firozabad on July 29. He maintained that he was kidnapped but rescued by the police.
The Firozabad police continued to work on the case despite his ‘safe return’ and finally exposed the ‘kidnap drama’ on Tuesday.
“Gupta’s intention behind staging his own kidnapping was to safeguard himself from liability of a huge amount that he had borrowed from many people. He had invested the borrowed money in a glass business, a school franchisee and running a kitty (BC). But he incurred losses and was not in a position to repay the money and thus thought of the fake kidnap plan,” the Firozabad SSP said.
“Vikalp, who studied cyber-crime, besides pursuing courses of law and chartered accountancy, was the mastermind. Sarika tried to frame Neeta Pandey despite knowing that her husband was never kidnapped. Sagar also colluded in the crime,” added the SSP.
“We were suspicious from day one because Gupta’s family didn’t have the body language like that of victims. Besides, CCTV footages from a shop in Firozabad, where Gupta was seen moving alone in a car on July 22 evening, also raised doubts,” stated Pandey.
The SSP said Gupta was also seen roaming in a mall in Jammu even as police teams were following his changing locations. The guard of a hotel in Panipat confirmed that Gupta reached there in a taxi alone.
“We have booked Gupta and others after working on clues and have a dozen witnesses whose statements prove that he was never kidnapped,” stated Pandey.
“We had also seized Gupta’s passport because there was apprehension that he might run away abroad to avoid paying back the borrowed money,” stated the SSP.