Nagpur: Raipur police in Chhattisgarh this week busted a gang, whose members are residents of Nagpur. In last three months, they have been allegedly involved in series of kidnapping in the neighbouring state for hefty ransom. The gang members, who also have offences registered against them in city, were staying at a rented apartment in Kabir Nagar on the outskirts of Raipur.

Sources in Raipur police said that the four persons — Ravindra Rao, Praveen Ghate, Ravi Bansod and Sanam Dhabde — would pose as educated and job seekers while creating a base in the city. The four also worked as marketing representatives with private firms. In the garb of marketing executives, the miscreants plotted and planned kidnappings of well-to-do businessmen or industrialists for hefty ransoms. The four had made a failed attempt followed by a successful bid in which they had earned Rs10 lakh. The gang was nabbed in the latest attempt where they had abducted Durg-based industrialist Vivek Goel. Rao, the mastermind of the gang, was netted by Raipur police's special squad when he had come to receive the first instalment of the ransom.

The source in Raipur police said the gang had a unique modus operandi to lure the victims into their traps. "The gang used to scan the local newspapers' advertisement section where they would try to spot someone who is looking for some buyers to deal in a big property. He would then make a call to the prospective seller posing as prospective buyer," said the police source. "The gang had trapped Goel in the same fashion. Goel wanted to sell a Rs30 lakh property at Raipur which the miscreants used as a trap. The miscreants told the businessman to come along with them to show the plot but later abducted him before making the ransom call," he said.

Raipur police also said the gang, with the aim of executing their kidnapping plan, had also stolen a car from Rajnandgaon. "Rao already has a case of extortion registered against him at Sitabuldi police station. We feel that rest of Rao's accomplices also likely to have criminal records in Nagpur. Police are now trying to gather information regarding the possible offences registered against them elsewhere in Maharashtra and other states. Nagpur police crime branch has been already alerted regarding the gang," said the Raipur police source.

It is learnt that the gang had also been planning a similar abduction of a businessman in Bhilai. "The gang had rented an apartment on the ring road in such a way that they can easily shuttle between Durg and Bhilai and also created their den outside the city where police's vigilance is generally weaker than anywhere within the city," said the source.

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