British couple abduction: Scotland Yard officials in Chennai

crimestoppersCHENNAI: Senior officials of London Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) on Tuesday met Chennai police commissioner here in connection with the case of kidnapping of a British couple of Sri Lankan origin, in which nine persons were arrested last year. Craig Maggee and Mark Hughes of kidnapping and special investigation unit of the Scotland Yard met the Chennai police commissioner S George for collecting evidence and documents for the ongoing prosecution in London, an official release said. National Crime Agency of UK's Sanjay Maini, along with representatives of the British High Commission in Delhi, were also present, it said. Chennai Police had arrested nine persons, including two Sri Lankan nationals, on charges of abducting an elderly British couple of Sri Lankan origin and demanding a Rs 2.58 crore as ransom in May last year. London Metropolitan Police arrested two persons in the UK for allegedly hatching a conspiracy for the crime, who are now in judicial custody in London facing prosecution in a local court, it added. Chennai Police had coordinated with Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard), London and the UK's National Crime Agency, state and central intelligence agencies and rescued the couple from an SUV bound for a house at Mandarakuppam in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu in May 2013. Based on a complaint on May 29 last that British nationals Thavaraja (59) and his wife Salaja (55), who landed at the airport here from Colombo, were missing, a case was registered. They were originally from Sri Lanka and had settled down in the UK and obtained citizenship. The couple had arrived in Chennai to proceed to Tiruchirapalli where they planned to join a tour operator and visit temples in the state for nine days. Investigations showed the couple's daughter Dharshini, residing in London,received calls from unidentified men who claimed to have abducted her parents and demanded a ransom of Rs 2.58 crore (300,000 pounds). Some of the arrested were workers employed in the couple's firm in London. Chennai Police coordinated with Dharshini as she sent them clippings of her conversation with the abductors and sought more time to raise the ransom money, as was advised by police.


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