Kidnapping and extortion racket busted in Goa, 12 arrested

The Goa Police have busted an interstate kidnapping and extortion racket that used to lure gullible aspirants with the promise of emigration to Canada. Twelve individuals have been arrested in the matter whereas a thirteenth, who’s a minor and a part of the racket, has been booked.

Two victims who have been held in their custody at a bungalow in Porvorim in North Goa have been freed, police mentioned.

The fiancée of the primary sufferer complained to the Goa Police that her fiancé, one Shapoor Zarifi, an Afghan nationwide, was kidnapped and held towards his will when he travelled to Goa on February 7.

Zarifi travelled to Goa to satisfy the ‘agents’ who had promised him to course of his papers for his employment and journey to Canada. However, upon arrival, he was kidnapped and compelled to name his pals telling them he had reached Canada and that his brokers again in Goa ought to be paid $20,000.

In her grievance, she alleged that Zarifi was speaking together with her by way of WhatsApp voice notes that have been dictated to him. Zarifi was made to say that he had already reached Canada. However, she was in a position to sense that he was nonetheless in Goa and being held towards his will.

“The victim was traced to a house in Porvorim where he was held captive by the accused. A total of 12 people involved in the kidnapping were arrested after the search and rescue operation and a minor, who was also a member of the gang, has been apprehended and lodged in protective custody. Additionally, one more person from Punjab, who was held in captivity, was also rescued during the search and rescue operation,” South Goa Superintendent of Police (SP) Pankaj Kumar Singh mentioned.

According to the police, the primary accused, recognized as Sushil Singh a.ok.a. Rishab, 36, a local of Haryana, had organised his gang members in Goa who took a bungalow on lease in Porvorim whereas their brokers in Delhi lured harmless individuals who wished to journey to Canada for employment.

“Zarifi was called by the main accused Rishab to Goa on February 2, informing him that his travel documents are ready. The accused obtained 2 lakh from him as an advance payment for tickets and visa purposes but he was held captive at the bungalow in Porvorim and was made to call his friends to make arrangements for $20,000 as the payment for his travel to Canada,” Pankaj Singh mentioned.

Zarifi was advised to inform his pals that if the money was not paid, he can be harmed.

“The gang would lure gullible travellers intending to visit Canada and call them to Goa where advance payment would be taken from them after which they would be held captive at the rented bungalow. A fake boarding pass and passport would be sent to the family members to make them believe that the victim had indeed travelled to Canada or their desired destination. WhatsApp voice messages were then sent from the victims mobile number using a VPN connection reflecting their IP locations in Canada. Later, the victims were made to call their family and friends asking for the final payment to be made,” Pankaj Kumar Singh mentioned.

The others arrested accused embrace Ashish Tripathi, 30, from Gorakhpur; Rajat Kalyan, 23; Saahil Kalyan, 24; Pradeep Kumar, 32; Sanju Singh, 28; Vijay, 26; Anil Kumar, 36; Anurag Kumar, 18; Vishal Goswami, 20 – all natives of Haryana. Alex D’Souza, 29, and (*12*) D’Souza, 23, each residents of Pernem in Goa have been additionally among the many accused.

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