LAHORE - Police on Wednesday claimed to have nailed seven kidnappers, including an Intelligence Bureau (IB) inspector and two policemen.

Lahore SSP (Investigations) Ghulam Mubashir Maken told the media that the detainees kidnapped patwaris for ransom and Rs8.8 million booty was recovered fromt hem.

“They had a list of Patwaris (serving in Lahore) and they were their next target,” held at the Investigations police headquarters on Wednesday.

The officer claimed that two police constables and one inspector of the Intelligence Bureau were active members of this gang. They had abducted Patwaris Muhammad Irfan Patwari and Khalid Hussain at gunpoint from Lahore.

They received Rs8.8 million ransom from the families of the victims. “This gang was so daring that they used to visit the residences of the victims to collect ransom amount,” the officer added.

The suspects were produced before the media during the news conference. The main suspects were identified by Sarfraz Khan, alias Awais, and Muhammad Qasim. The policemen involved in abduction for ransom cases were posted at Baghbanpura police station.

According to police officer Maken, a special police team had been constituted to unearth the gangsters involved in the latest cases of kidnapping for ransom. “They used to keep victims at private facilities for several days to demand ransom from their families,” he said.

Further investigations were underway.

The involvement of police officers in incidents of heinous crime is not rare in the province where police were found involved in armed robberies in the past. However, it was shocking for many that the gangsters targeted Patwaris, who are Grade-V employees of the provincial government.

Police sources revealed that many Patwaris serving in Lahore are millionaires because of rampant corruption in the board of revenue.

SAFE CITIES AUTHORITY

Punjab police integrated, command, control, and communication centre, the premier project of Punjab Safe Cities Authority, is a consolidated hub of integrated policing regulating swift emergency and police response, according to a spokesperson.

It is also responsible for generating litigable forensic and chronological evidences or data on the basis of real-time video footages through its geo-strategically installed security cameras within the city and the distress calls received at its 15 Emergency Helpline, the spokesman said on Wednesday.

He added that the number of Electronic Data Acquisition Requests served for the period Nov 2016 to Jun 2017 for police helpline Rescue-15 remained 260 whereas the number of Electronic Data Acquisition Requests served for Video and Audio Data remained 235, respectively.

“For the period Oct 1, 2016 to Jun 15, 2017, the total number of calls received at 15 Emergency Helpline was 1,976,929 out of which 1,573,303 calls were rendered as hoax/fake calls, 105,760 calls were rendered as calls for consultations, and at least 178,220 calls cases were generated on genuine actionable concerns.”