The Jalandhar youth who was kidnapped in Thailand six days ago arrived in the city on Monday, amid reports suggesting that his family and relatives paid Rs 8 lakh ransom to his kidnappers and their Moga-based accomplices to secure his release.
The money was paid in two instalments, it has been learnt. The kidnapped youth, Ajay Kumar (27), is a resident of New Shastri Nagar in the city, was released on Sunday.
Ajay’s friend Harkamal, who had gone with him to Thailand on June 13, and his mother Jagir Kaur have now emerged as main conspirators besides travel agents involved in human trafficking racket in the case.
Kaur runs a ragi jatha in Thailand and Malaysia along with other Punjabi-origin women.
During the preliminary investigations, it has come to the fore that a day before his release, Ajay’s brother Avinash and three others went to the Moga bus stand and paid Rs 5.75 lakh to a turbaned boy on the instructions of kidnappers from Thailand. The kidnappers had given code numbers for the delivery of cash payment.
Another instalment of Rs 2.25 lakh was paid through online banking into the account given by the abductors.
A police official who talked to Ajay told HT that he was kept in a hotel in the Thai city of Hat Yai near the Malaysia border by four kidnappers of which two were from Moga, one from South India and one from Thailand.
He said the youth was given food laced with intoxicants, was beaten up and given electric shocks by kidnappers.
The police official said when the city police arrested Moga-based Lakhwinder Singh, an accomplice of the kidnappers on June 17 after verification of the account number in which the ransom money was to be deposited, they tortured him badly and threatened the family that they would cut his fingers and send in a parcel if the money was not paid.
After this, the family got frightened and kept the police in the dark and paid the ransom money to the kidnappers, the official said.
However, Kumar did not talk to mediapersons when he went to record his statement before the additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP-II) Amrik Singh Pawar on Monday.
Moga-based travel agent Paramjeet has also been booked for kidnapping in this connection. “We will soon write to the authorities in Thailand to start the process of his (Paramjeet) extradition process,” the deputy commissioner of police further informed.
Harkamal, his mother Jagir Kaur and brother Harvinder Singh have been booked and will be arrested soon in this connection, the DCP said.