KARACHI   -  Three policemen belonging to the Anti-Vehicle Lifting Cell (AVLC) were arrested for allegedly kidnapping the owner of a call centre in their official mobile van for Rs5 million ransom.

Police said that investigators traced the call and arrested the three policemen identified as Sub-Inspector Mohammed Arif, constables Abdul Haq and Mohammed Rehan. However, their two civilians aides — Danish and Wajid — managed to escape.

AVLC SSP Mohammed Tariq Nawaz said that the three policemen picked up Bilal Mansoor over the issue of a ‘suspicious’ car, but instead of lodging an FIR against him, they kidnapped him for ransom.

Gulshan SHO Ashraf Jogi said that the AVLC policemen were arrested with help of a relative of the kidnapped person. He said that only one of the held policemen was wearing the police uniform.

A case was registered against the AVLC team on the complaint of victim Mansoor under Section 365 (kidnapping for ransom) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Gulshan-i-Iqbal police station. Narrating his ordeal, the victim told the police that five persons, including one in police uniform, intercepted his vehicle on Friday night on Abdul Hasan Ispahani Road through their police mobile bearing number plate SP-582-B.

He said they blindfolded him and took him in their mobile. They snatched his car keys, purse, mobile phone, wristwatch and ATM card. Initially, they demanded Rs5m as ransom, but later they reduced the amount to Rs2m.

The victim said they asked him to arrange Rs500,000 through his ATM card and Rs1.5m cash.

He said that their mobile van was stationed in a Liaquatabad area where a police team of the Gulshan-i-Iqbal police station arrived and took into custody SI Arif and constables Abdul Haq and Mohammed Rehan.

He said two private persons —Danish and Wajid — managed to escape along with his cell phones and other valuables. The police recovered official sub-machine gun from held SI Arif and the snatched purse of the victim and some documents.

Another Gulshan police officer, Muzaffar Iqbal, said they were patrolling in the area when they received a wireless message that one Bilal Mansoor had been kidnapped in an official police mobile.  He said with the help of victim brother-in-law Qadir Bux, they traced the origin of the ransom call and arrested the suspects from Liaquabad No 10.