Kasaragod police arrested two persons in connection with the kidnap and killing of NRI Aboobacker Siddik (32). The accused Abdul Azeez (36) and Abdul Raheem (41) of Udyavar in Manjeshwar were detained from South Margao with the help of Goa police, said district police chief Vaibhav Saxena.
Azeez was one of the four businessmen who allegedly hired goons to get back Rs 50 lakh worth of dirhams they gave to Siddik to be transported to Dubai. But Siddik delivered an empty bag to the client in Dubai, said Saxena.
Abdul Raheem allegedly helped the four businessmen escape from Kasaragod after Siddik died during the torture by the goons on Sunday. Azeez had allegedly given dirhams worth Rs 4 lakh to Siddik, said the officer. The other three businessmen, who are not yet identified by police, gave Rs 20 lakh, Rs 18 lakh and Rs 8 lakh worth of dirhams to Siddik.
They could be running an illegal money exchange and were engaged in money laundering, said police. The case will attract the attention of the Enforcement Directorate, which investigates violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
The person who gave Rs 18 lakh runs a chain of fruit stalls in Goa. Azeez and Raheem were picked up from one of the fruit stalls in Margao. "The other three businessmen left the stall before the police team reached there," said Saxena. All of the four men run various businesses in Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Kasaragod and Goa.
When Siddik allegedly breached their trust and did not deliver the money, they hired goons to get their money back. The goons, believed to be from Paivalike kidnapped Siddik's brother Anwar and relative Ansar on Friday (June 24). They were stripped and hung upside down and thrashed on their buttocks to force Siddik to return from Dubai.
When Siddik arrived on Sunday (June 26), the goons kidnapped him and took him to the same torture house at Noochila in Paivalike. He collapsed during the torture. Two members of the goons rushed him to a hospital at Bandiyod in Uppala in a car. But the doctors declared him dead on arrival. All the hired goons went into hiding after that.
The district police chief said around 15 persons, including the four businessmen, were involved in the crime. Ten of them are professional goons. "We have identified them and collected hard evidence tying them to the crime," he said.
Several members of the gang were charged with murder in a five-year-old case. Saxena said the special investigation team he formed has seized four vehicles and Rs 4.5 lakh, which could be "quotation money" paid to the goons by the businessmen. The two persons arrested on Wednesday would be charged with murder and conspiracy.