Number of kidnapping cases this year highest in two decades
There have been more kidnapping for ransom cases in Karachi this year – 148 – than any other in the last two decades, reveal official statistics.
According to data compiled by the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), 129 of these cases have been solved. The kidnapping cases in the city have risen sharply in the last few weeks – the abductees mostly businessmen and children.
The kidnappers usually take the abducted person to a location outside the city. The CPLC says that in most of the cases, the kidnappers are residents of rural Sindh or Hub in Balochistan.
To tackle this problem, police, Rangers and Frontier Constabulary personnel have been deployed at several check points on the city’s exit points.
In some cases when the ransom is not paid, the kidnap victim is killed and the body dumped along the highway.
The most disturbing aspect of the CPLC report is that some dismissed police officials are also involved in a few cases.
The CPLC chief says that there are five major groups responsible for the majority of the kidnapping for ransom cases.
“The kidnappings usually occur in the city’s suburbs or the Old City areas,” explains Ahmed Chinoy.
“These gangs usually kidnap people returning from French Beach, the Northern Bypass, Hawkesbay Road and traders in Old City areas including Timber Market, Lea Market, Kharadar and Jama Cloth Market.”
The official said the kidnappers mostly arrived in pick-ups or on motorcycles and managed to kidnap traders despite the presence of security guards at the markets.
“These groups target the bankers, estate agents and traders and their children. They demand somewhere between Rs0.1 and Rs0.3 million and if the families don’t pay, they kill the victims and dump their bodies in the area near the Northern Bypass that lies within the jurisdictions of the Surjani and Manghopir police station or other places that fall within the remit of the Sohrab Goth, Sachal, Bin Qasim, Quaidabad police stations.”
Chinoy said as businessmen usually stayed out till late night and on most occasions do not tag their security guards along, they are left vulnerable to abduction.
“CCTV footage has disclosed that some kidnappers also use vehicles similar to police vans and some people mistakenly believe that cops in civvies have whisked away someone.”
The CPLC chief said even though the rise in kidnapping for ransom cases this year was alarming, their number had decreased since the police and his department had started conducting joint operations. “The number of cases declined in September and in most cases, the kidnap victims were rescued.”
Chinoy said in 35 percent of the cases, domestic aides were involved and citizens had been warned several times to have the background of the person they wanted to hire verified by a police station. Some kidnappers also use foreign SIMs and their phone numbers have been traced back to the UK, Dubai, Afghanistan and some other countries.
Source: The News