Eight more arrested in air passenger abduction case

KAAPA to be invoked against the accused based on their past records

The Nedumbassery police on Thursday arrested eight more persons in connection with the alleged abduction of an air passenger from the Cochin International Airport by a gang on Sunday.

The arrested are Aurangazeeb,39, of Aluva, Shiril, 30, Shamnaz, 22, Muhammed Salih, 25, Ahammed Masood, 24, Sakkeer, 27, Raisal, 27, and Riyas, 34, all residents of Manjali. This was in addition to one Ibrahimkutty aka Ibroo, 44, of Mudikkal in Perumbavoor who was arrested earlier this week.

The passenger by the name Taju Thomas was allegedly abducted by the gang in a pre-paid cab outside the international terminal of the airport on his arrival from Sharjah on Sunday afternoon. Two persons allegedly forced themselves into the cab, and once the vehicle reached near a petrol pump outside the airport, the rest of the gang members converged there in five cars and allegedly whisked him away.

The Nedumbassery police had rescued the victim, who was allegedly assaulted, from a lodge at Perumbavoor later that evening though the gang had managed to give them a slip.

Muhammed Salih and Ahammed Masood were accused in a murder case registered in 2019, while Aurangazeeb and Ibrahimkutty also have criminal antecedents.

The accused were nabbed following an intensified probe. K. Karthik, District Police Chief (Ernakulam Rural), said the provisions of the Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act (KAAPA) would also be invoked against the accused based on their past records. More persons are suspected to have been involved in the case, and a hunt is on for them.

The exact reason for the alleged kidnapping is under investigation, and the possibility of it being a case of mistaken identity is also being looked into.

The police had registered a case invoking Sections, including 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) 357 (assault or criminal force to any person) 365 (kidnapping or abduction), and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

A team led by Aluva Deputy Superintendent of Police T.S. Sinoj and Nedumbassery Inspector T. Sasikumar made the arrest.

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