A flawed abduction plan to extort money from his father landed a 30-year-old former call centre employee behind bars on Monday.
The accused, Zuber Sheikh, staged his own kidnapping to get money from his father. All went as planned except that his accomplice demanded Rs 40 lakh as ransom money, instead of Rs 4 lakh, which landed duo in police net.
Shaikh, who had incurred heavy losses in a business deal, had borrowed money from his friend Noel Johnson to pay off his debts after his family refused to offer monetary help.
Shaikh lost his job at a Malad-based call centre, which forced him to stage his own kidnapping with Johnson's help. Shaikh had thought, he would demand a hefty amount from his father as ransom, but he never knew how his friend's greed would spoil it all.
The incident took place on Sunday around 10.30pm, when Shaikh along with his wife Aaliya got into their Tata Indigo at Ghatkopar.
"When Shaikh was about to start the car, a man seated in the back seat held a gun on his head and told him to drive as per the directions given by him," said an officer from Parksite police station.
The accused asked Shaikh to halt the vehicle midway and forced Aaliya to hand over her gold earrings and mobile phone to him and dropped her.
A scared Aaliya reached home and approached the Parksite police. Soon after, Shaikh's father got a call from the 'accused' informing him that his son had been kidnapped.
Deputy commissioner of police (Zone 7) Sanjay Shintre said, "The 'kidnapper', who ultimately turned out to be Noel Johnson, Shaikh's close friend, asked Shaikh's father to keep Rs 40 lakh ready if he wanted to see his son alive. Shaikh and Johnson had earlier decided to ask for Rs 4 lakh. Shaikh's family immediately informed the Parksite police."
The police had barely begun investigation when Shaikh turned up at the police station, claiming that he had managed to escape from an under construction site at Borivli. He said he was abducted by a man called Sadiq.
The police suspected something amiss and began interrogating Shaikh. He confessed to have staged his own kidnapping with Johnson's help to extort money from his father.