The victim K Newton (44) of Velayutham Colony, Saligramam, is said to have been a photographer in the film industry with his office in Thousand Lights. However, due to the lockdown, he entered the real estate business and shifted office to Tirumullaivoyal.
On Saturday, Newton allegedly left the house telling his wife Kausalya that he was going to the office but did not return till Saturday night. Since his phone calls went unanswered, Kausalya complained to Virugambakkam police the same night itself.
However, Newton called his father-in-law George William late on Saturday night claiming he was abducted by a gang and would be released only on payment of Rs 30 lakh. Kausalya, who came to know about it, lodged a fresh complaint requesting to rescue her husband.
Virugambakkam police registered a case of kidnap on Sunday and crime inspector Nandini and team laid a trap to secure the suspects. As the kidnappers demanded, police asked George William to give the ransom to the kidnappers and followed him to Tirumullaivoyal. A bike-borne duo, later identified as S Dilip (28) of Tiruverkadu and S Gowtham (25) of Arakkonam, was secured when they received the cash bag from George William and the bike was seized.
Based on their inputs, a team rushed to Tiruttani and Tirupathi and arrested three others -- K Sunil (31) of Tiruttani, P Vignesh (22) of Tiruttani and V Sathish Kumar (39) of Vyasarpadi -- near Sriperumpudur in the wee hours of Monday. Newton and his auditor Raguji were rescued and the car was seized.
Investigation revealed that Newton received about Rs 35 lakh from the accused through a mediator claiming to have iridium metal extracted from temple kalasams, which would bring prosperity if worshipped at home and can be sold for crores to foreigners.
Believing him, they bought ‘iridium’ from Newton and found that it did not work as they expected. However, Newton did not return the money after which the gang decided to kidnap Newton to force his family to pay it as ransom.
One more suspect Srinivasan was secured on Sunday afternoon and all six accused were remanded in judicial custody.