Police arrested two youths from Rabindranagar on Monday evening for trying to extort money from a city trader by threatening to kidnap his two minor daughters.
Abdus Salam of Fatehpur Village Road in Garden Reach complained to the police three days after he received the first extortion call on March 5. The caller threatened to abduct Salam’s daughters — aged six and eight — if he failed to pay Rs 2 lakh.
“He received three calls before he decided to report the matter to us. We found that the extortionist used a single phone number to make all the calls,” an officer at Garden Reach police station said.
The police asked Salam, who owns a cardboard box manufacturing unit, to talk to the extortionist and fix a date and place to make the payment.
During investigation the police found that the SIM card used by the caller belonged to a person named Badal Khan. “A fake address was given when the SIM was registered. There was no one named Badal Khan,” the officer said.
In the meantime, the caller told Salam to go to Matikata, Rabindranagar, in South 24-Parganas on Monday with the money.
The place is around 5km from Garden Reach police station.
“We had given Salam a bag full of newspapers cut into the size of banknotes and bundled. We devised a plan to pounce on the extortionist when he gives the bag,” the officer said. Salam had deputed his brother for the task.
Policemen disguised as rickshaw-pullers closed in when Salam’s brother kept the bag near a shanty — as directed by the caller — at the location where the money was to be delivered and moved back.
The two youths, Shahbuddin alias Pappu, and Chand, emerged on a motorcycle 10 minutes later and one of them tried to grab the bag and flee. But the alert policemen grabbed them before they could escape.
Chand is a former employee of Salam.
An officer said the duo, both 20 years old, were remanded in police custody.