TIRUNELVELI: Demonetised currency notes worth Rs 3 crore were seized and 18 people arrested after police launched an inquiry into a kidnapping complaint lodged by one of the accused. Police sources said R Paulraj (39), who worked as a manager in a private windmill at Aaralvaaimozhi in Kanniyakumari, allegedly kidnapped the son of Jeyapal (49) from Azhagiyapuram near Melapalayam on Friday night, after the latter allegedly cheated and robbed him.
Sources said Paulraj along with Sundar (45) of Nanguneri had approached Jeyapal to exchange `3 crore worth demonetised notes for new ones. Jeyapal had assured them of returning Rs 2.5 crore in new notes. As part of the deal, Paulraj was instructed to bring the invalid notes to a house in Tirunelveli, following which he along with Jeyapal, Sundar and two other persons — Shahul Hameed and Mohan — loaded the money in a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) at Kanniyakumari on Friday night and headed to the house located in Chithambaram Nagar. However, on reaching Karaiyiruppu, Jeyapal left the group saying he will scan the surrounding and join them a little later.
As the other three reached the location and were heading with the cash towards the house, a group allegedly assaulted and robbed them. Apart from the demonetised notes, the gang robbed Paulraj’s phone and jewellery, sources said.
As Jeyapal could not be contacted after the incident, Paulraj suspected foul play. So, he along with a few others visited Jeyapal’s house that same night and kidnapped his son, an engineering student. A helpless father, Jeyapal approached Melapalayam Police to lodge a complaint of kidnap. During the course of inquiry, police learnt about Jeyapal’s deal with Paulraj and rescued his son. Paulraj and five others, including Shahul, Sundar and Mohan, were arrested on Saturday for kidnap.
Twelve others, including Jeyapal, were later arrested for their involvement in the robbery case.