Indian admits having uncle kidnapped for P30M
MANILA — A 23-year-old man from Punjab, India, was arrested by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), for masterminding the abduction of his uncle in San Pedro, Laguna, and demanding P30 million for his release. Three other Indian nationals and at least two Filipinos were arrested for helping in the kidnapping.
“I wanted the money,” suspect Shiv Chauhan said in an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer as he admitted to masterminding the abduction of his uncle Chaman Lal.
Chauhan said he did not know what he would have done with the money but he had wanted the cash nonetheless. He tapped the help of Matwinder Singh, Ashwani Kumar and his son, Rakesh Kumar.
They carried out the kidnapping on June 18, a day after Lal’s father died in India.
“I was shocked when I found out because I even helped him when he arrived in the Philippines. He would come to my house for food and I would feed him. I never thought he’d do this to me,” said Lal in a separate interview.
The NBI rescued Lal on Monday afternoon inside Singh’s house in Metro Green, Novaliches, Quezon City, hours after giving the fake ransom money operatives used to arrest them.
Singh was arrested in a hospital in Quezon City, while Chauhan and the Kumars were arrested in Alabang. Also arrested were their Filipino cohorts identified as Albin Pusos and John William Lucero.
Lal, a stocky man who stands 5’11, cried as he embraced his relatives who joined the NBI operatives in rescuing him.
Lal said the guards hired by his kidnappers — Pusos and Lucero — mauled him every day. Sometimes, he added, they would hit Lal but the latter couldn’t say what weapon was used on him because he had a blindfold on.
Case investigator Elson Saul said “two Filipino-looking men” abducted Lal while he was working in Barangay Bulihan in GMA, Cavite. They pistol-whipped him and dragged him inside a car. Then, they blindfolded him and locked him in Singh’s house.
Singh said based on Chauhan’s plan, he would negotiate with Lal’s family and pretend to be a Filipino because he spoke Tagalog fluently. Their initial demand was P30 million but they later agreed to lower the price to P1.6 million.
“They were very clever,” said Saul. “They were very cautious. But it was really stupid of them to use Lal’s phone during negotiations.”
Lal’s cousin Sogy Rajinder negotiated with them. He described Singh as a “very cruel person.”
During their confrontation at the NBI, an angry Rajinder told abductors: “We play fair but you guys don’t. We work hard, you don’t. You want easy money. You think you can really earn millions in just 10 days?”
Saul said the NBI would file charges of kidnapping for ransom against the Indian abductors and their Filipino accomplices at the Quezon City prosecutor’s office. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.