A debt-ridden businessman, who desperately needed money to repay his debts, saw a ray of hope when he saw a missing person’s poster at Andheri railway station. He decided to make a false claim of having kidnapped the victim so he could demand ransom.
The accused, however, ran out of luck as he was caught by the police as he arrived to take ransom money. He later confessed to having made such unsuccessful attempts to con relatives of missing persons.
The accused, Vipul Chauhan, 37, is a resident of Kol Dongri area in Andheri (east).
According to the police, Chauhan had seen the missing person’s poster at Andheri station on February 28 and called up the number printed on the poster. Chauhan told the relative (the complainant) and asked sought Rs3lakh to free the ‘kidnapped’ person.
On March 1 and 2, Chauhan called the complainant and threatened him after which the complainant approached the Gamdevi police station, where the missing complaint had been lodged.
“On March 2, Chauhan gave the relative an address and asked him to leave the money in a pot behind a temple in Thane. The police, who were lying in wait at the place, nabbed Chauhan when he came to collect the money, said a police officer.
“During interrogation, Chauhan told us that he had not kidnapped the person and had got the relative’s number from the poster put up at Andheri station. He says he thought of making a quick buck,” said the officer who is privy to the investigation.
“He admitted to having made such fake calls to families of other missing persons in the past. He claims he had some debts to clear due to which he was desperately seeking money.”
The police have booked Chauhan for kidnapping for ransom (based on the relative’s initial complaint) and putting a person under fear of death or of grievous hurt in order to commit extortion under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).