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Wanted Indian kidnapper falls

PHILIPPINE National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) director, Colonel Jonnel C. Estomo yesterday announced the arrest of an Indian national wanted for his involvement with a kidnapping-for-ransom gang which previously preyed on their compatriots in the country.

In a report to PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde, the official identified the arrested suspect as Mandeep Singh  alias ‘Deepy Sidhu/Commando,’ a 36-year old resident of Villa de Calamba in Barangay La Mesa, Calamba City in Laguna.

Estomo said that the suspect was arrested last Sunday  afternoon by members of the PNP-AKG Visayas Field Unit and the AKG Special Operations Unit in Barangay Caningay in Candoni, Negros Occidental. He added that follow-up operations are still underway to arrest other members of the KFR gang.

The official said that the suspect’s arrest was made based on the strength of a warrant of arrest for kidnapping-for-ransom and serious illegal detention issued by Judge Tomas Ken Romaquin of the Biñan City Regional Trial Court Branch 24 with no bail recommended.

Estomo said that the suspect was tagged as among the Indian kidnappers who abducted Anial Kumar Sohal on August 13, 2017 and demanded P20 million for his safe release. During negotiations, the kidnappers agrees to reduce their ransom demand to P2 million and eventually accepted the Sohal family’s counter-offer of P935,000.

However, three of the heavily-armed kidnappers identified as Inderjit Singh alias ‘Goldie,’ the suspected leader of the ‘Goldie KFR Gang operating in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, Rashper Singh and Filipino national Ferdinand Reyes were killed in a gunbattle with PNP-AKG agents who rescued the 30-year old Sohal in Biñan City three days after the kidnapping incident.

Makati City Pabakuna

Estomo said that when found inside the kidnappers’ safehouse in Barangay Sto Niño, Pasay City which is near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, the victim was still in handcuffs and blindfolded.

He added that recovered from the slain kidnappers’ possession were one caliber .45 pistol, one 9mm pistol, one 9mm snub-nosed revolver, one 9mm revolver, several live ammunition and their getaway vehicle: a Toyota Corolla with plate no. UMA-548.

The PNP-AKG discovered that the slain Inderjit Singh had masterminded six other kidnappings of their fellow Indian nationals but majority of the cases filed against him and his cohorts were dismissed due to lack of interest on the part of the victims to prosecute their case or after witnesses were threatened with death by the suspects.

The victims were identified as Sanjev Kumar who was abducted on June 12, 2008 in Sta. Maria, Bulacan and released after paying a P1.75 million ransom; Balwinder Kumar, seized in Tanay, Rizal and freed after paying a P1.75 million ransom; Sushil Kumar, abducted on July 15, 2011 and killed during captivity after his family refused to pay the kidnappers’ P1 million ransom demand; Jagsir Singh, abducted in Rodriguez, Rizal on June 3, 2012 but managed to escape from his captors; one Sodhi who was kidnapped on March 3, 2013 in Karuhatan, Valenzuela City and reportedly paid a P2 million ransom; and Pankaj Luther who was abducted on April 23, 2017 in General Trias, Cavite and released after paying a P1.3 million ransom.

The PNP-AKG also learned that Inderjit Singh joined hands with one Gurmeet Singh in the Sodhi KFR case. Gurmeet was arrested by PNP-AKG agents on March 9, 2017 and is now being held at the Nueva Ecija provincial jail in connection with the Harvinder Singh kidnapping.