LAHORE: A fraud scheme to collect funds using conventional media and social networks ostensibly for ‘ransom money’ came to an end on Wednesday when Rawalpindi Police, responding to news reports, investigated the matter and registered a case against Shamsul Anwar, the father of a so-called unfortunate girl named Madina Anwar, who was reportedly ‘kidnapped for ransom’ by a terrorist outfit.
Nasirabad Police Chowki Supervisor and Investigation Officer Sub-Inspector Awais Akram told media reports, police initiated an investigation into the alleged kidnapping on Wednesday. During interrogation, police found that Shamsul Anwar fabricated the story to make money off of public sympathies.
He revealed that Shamsul Anwar, in connivance with some accomplices in the media, fabricated a heart-rending story which was then carried in news reports. He said Anwar’s daughter had also been found from a neighbouring house and police had arrested him after registering a case of fraud (number 22/12) under Section 420, 499, 500 and 504 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Akram said when police contacted Anwar, he repeated the same story, which had also appeared in various newspapers. However, when the top cops of Rawalpindi Police interrogated him and asked him for the number from which he was receiving calls for ransom, he failed to give any specific numbers saying that the number never appeared on his mobile phone and it always appeared as “no number” on his screen.
He said police smelled a rat and the top cops ordered him to get details of Shamsul Anwar’s accounts in which he had received payments from various donors. He said the man had claimed that his daughter had been kidnapped but she was married and was living happily with her husband only a few yards from her parents’ house.
When Pakistan Today attempted to contact Anwar on his mobile phone (0346-5524259), his daughter answered and said she had received a couple of calls from different people who had informed her that her sister “has been recovered”. She confirmed that some police officials came to their house and her father had gone with them to the police station. However, she said she was unaware of her father’s arrest.
Social networking websites had been abuzz with prayers for the safe release of the girl all day. People kept appealing for donations on Facebook and Twitter but expressed disappointment when the episode turned out to be a fraud. – PT