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NBI rescues kidnapped Indian, arrests 7 suspects

After being beaten every night for 10 days, an Indian was rescued early yesterday morning in Novaliches, Quezon City, by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents from a kidnap-for-ransom group. Seven suspects – four Indians and three Filipinos – were arrested during the operation.

Lawyer Joel Tovera, chief of the NBI Anti-Illegal Drugs Division (AIDD) which conducted the operation, identified the rescued victim as Chaman Lal, whose son was kidnapped by the same group two years ago but was freed after paying a P1-million ransom.

The NBI official learned that the group was also involved in other kidnappings in the past.

“May instances na nai-deliver na ‘yung ransom money pinapatay pa rin nila yung biktima,” said Tovera during a press conference at the NBI.

He cited that a minor, who was a relative of Lal, was abducted and killed by kidnappers despite the payment of ransom four years ago.

Tovera called on other kidnap victims to “come out into the open para i-identify po ang mga subjects natin.”

The NBI identified those arrested as Indian suspects as Ashwani Kumar, 59; Rakesh Kumar, 31; Shiv Chaunan, 23; and Matwinder Singh, 33; and their Filipinos cohorts Albino Pusos, 24; John William Lucero, 22; and Ailene Alarcio, 22.

Authorities seized from the suspects a .45-caliber pistol, several motorcycles, and two vehicles.

Tovera said they are hunting down another Filipino suspect identified as Ferdie Marvin.

Tovera recounted that last Friday, they received a complaint from Lal’s relative, Rajiv Kumar, who said that the victim was abducted in Cavite last June 18 and the kidnappers were asking for a P30-million ransom.

The amount was lowered to R10 million during negotiations between the victim’s family and the kidnappers.

The NBI team used a boodle money to entrap the suspects. One of the Indian suspects, who was riding a motorcycle, picked up the “ransom,” according to the NBI official.

The agents followed the suspect, leading them to the group’s hideout and arrested the other members of the group.

The arrested suspects identified the other members and revealed the location of Lal who was found yesterday morning in one of the hideouts of the group in Novaliches, Quezon City, being guarded by Pusos and Lucero.

“Nakakalungkot po nang napasok natin ‘yung kanilang hideout, nakagapos po ‘yung biktima, nandiyan po ‘yung kadena, na parang aso. Nandoon lang sa sahig na binabantayan nung dalawang Filipino,” said Tovera.

“Gabi-gabing tinu-torture ‘yung ating biktima at tinatakot na papatayin kung hindi ibibigay ‘yung ransom money,” Tovera revealed further. (JEFFREY G. DAMICOG)