BENGALURU: Yelahanka police on Saturday arrested four people, including the chief of JD(S) women’s wing, on charges of kidnapping a realtor and demanding a ransom of Rs 100 crore. They also forced the victim’s family to pay up Rs 60 lakh immediately.
The arrested are Arshiya Ali (37), state president of JD(S) women wing, her neighbour Renuka Prasad (41), both residents of Bagalur, Kantharaj Gowda (30) of HBR Layout, and Pradeep alias Prateesh (32) of Horamavu. Soon after the arrest, Arshiya was sacked from the JD(S).
The gang had kidnapped Mallikarjuna alias Mallanna, a resident of Kogilu Cross in Yelahanka.
A senior police officer said the prime accused Gowda had borrowed money from the realtor. The duo also invested money in real estate.
Gowda also had financial transactions with Arshiya and with her friend Renuka Prasad. They planned to kidnap Mallikarjun as he was financially very sound.
“On January 11, Mallikarjun had come to a nearby park at Kogilu Cross for his morning walk and Gowda along with his car driver Pradeep approached him, threatening him with a pistol,” a police official said.
They took him in a car to Bagepalli near Kolar and locked him in a room. Soon they called his family members and demanded `100 crore ransom for his safe release.
Dr Ravikumar, son of Mallikarjun, negotiated with the gang and arranged to pay `60 lakh on the same day. After taking the money, the gang released Mallikarjun with his son. Ravikumar then filed a case even before reaching the house.
The police immediately obtained the CCTV footage and zeroed in on the car used by Gowda. Then they tracked the phone call records and nabbed Gowda and Arshiya before securing the two other accused, the officer said.
During interrogation, the police learnt that the gang had planned to kidnap the realtor a month ago. But as Mallikarjun’s car driver used to accompany him, they could not carry out their plan.
The police said as the driver had taken leave for a few days, Mallikarjun had driven his car to the park to take a walk, from where gang abducted him.
Gowda was earlier arrested by Ashok Nagar police for carrying `1 crore in demonetised money and was later released on bail.
Renuka Prasad was arrested by the Vishwanathpura police in a property dispute a few months ago, the officer said.
Rs 45 Lakh Illegal Money Recovered
While arresting Arshiya, the found her to be in possession of `45 lakh illegal money at her house. She failed to produce proper documents to prove that the money was legal. Arshiya feigned innocence when the police surrounded her house although it was she who had given the idea to Gowda to kidnap Mallikarjun. It was alleged that Arshiya was involved in honey trapping victims , but the police officer ruled this out.
Money, Cars Seized
Police have seized K60 lakh cash, two high-end cars, gold jewellery, six live cartridges and a pistol from the gang, besides K45 lakh illegal money from Arshiya