A senior ruling Akali Dal leader of Punjab and two other persons from the state, who were allegedly been kidnapped in Hong Kong where they went to finalise a land deal, have been freed unharmed and the prime accused in the case arrested, police said.
Khanna Senior Superindent of Police Sushil Kumar said Akali Dal leader of Machiwara Manmohan Singh Khera, advocate Gurinder Singh Dhillon of Landran and a bank manager Satwinder Singh Mavi, who had gone to Hong Kong to finalise a land deal in Punjab, were released and one of them spoke to his family members as well.
The prime land in question is located near Jagraon Bridge in Ludhiana and belongs to Manmohan Singh Khera who, along with Dhillon and Mavi, was holding talks about it with a Hong Kong-based company.
After finalising the deal at Rs 10.9 crore through a local property dealer, the company officials claimed they had deposited two cheques of Rs 6 lakh each in Khera's bank account and had sent two receipts in this regard. But the money didn’t land in his account, police said.
On the offer of the property dealer to accompany him to Hong Kong for resolving the issue, Khera, along with his attorney and a bank manager, went to Hong Kong on October 23.
In Hong Kong, the alleged abductors told the trio that the company had deposited Rs 26 crore in Khera’s account through a money exchanger in Chandigarh despite the deal being of Rs 10.9 crore and the kidnappers wanted Rs 15 crore back in return for their release.
They were threatening to kill the trio in case their demand was not met.
When Khera's relatives contacted the money exchanger, he denied having transferred such a hefty amount.
Khera’s family members then informed the police.
Manmohan and his two companions went to Hong Kong on their own without informing any official, police said.
The SSP said the prime accused in the abduction case Simranjeet Singh, alias Gogi (28), was arrested from Samrala, 12 km from Machiwara in this district.
Gogi is a resident of Kaunke village in Ludhiana district and came to Punjab on Sunday, the SSP said.
After the arrest of Gogi, police also recovered Rs 5 lakh from his possession besides several SIM cards, including one of Hong Kong.
Investigations showed Gogi is into this business since long, Kumar said adding he is always on the look-out for big landlords back home, lure them in selling property at huge value and stage drama of kidnapping the owner of the land so that he can demand money.
Khera has informed his family members over phone about their alleged abduction by the company and that it was demanding Rs 15 crore for their release.
Image: Manmohan Singh Khera