A taxi driver was arrested Saturday for allegedly claiming to have kidnapped the mentally-challenged brother of a Kurla-based jeweller and demanding a ransom of Rs 40 lakh for his safe return, police said.
According to police, the accused, Amir Shaikh, 32, was acquainted with the jeweller and frequented his Kurla shop. In November last year, Shaikh reportedly found out that the younger brother of the jeweller had gone missing.
On November 16, Shaikh allegedly made several calls using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to the jeweller claiming that he had kidnapped his brother, police said. However, instead of giving into the kidnapper’s demands for ransom, the jeweller lodged a complaint at Kurla police station. Since then, Unit 5 of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch had been trying to track the caller.
A crime branch official said that as tracing VoIP calls is extremely difficult, the investigators looked through months of CCTV camera footage of the area in which the jewllery shop is located before Inspectors Jagdish Sail and Yogesh Chavan and API Surekha Jaunjal identified Shaikh as the caller.
“An employee at the shop told the accused that the jeweller’s brother was missing. The accused has no prior criminal record and thought that the ransom call would be an easy way to make money,” added the official.
The accused was arrested by the crime branch officials Saturday, however, the 39-year-old brother of the jeweller continues to remain missing. The man went missing after he reportedly left his home in Kandivali East on November 5 afternoon, police said.
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