Deccan Chronicle

Netflix lure: City driver out of jail leads gang for kidnap and ransom; arrested

Deccan Chronicle.| dc correspondent

Published on: February 16, 2022 | Updated on: February 16, 2022

Suresh was inspired by the Netflix series, Money Heist, where the main character, a Professor, recruits several people to commit crimes



Hyderabad: Inspired by a series on Netflix, a 27-year-old who is also the brother of a habitual property offender like the ‘Professor’ in Money Heist, formed a group to honey-trap and kidnap people in the city to demand ransom.

The Asif Nagar Police arrested him and his gang on Tuesday. The mastermind was Gunjapogu Suresh alias Suri, a driver by profession.

"Police began a probe after a complaint came from a woman resident of Asif Nagar. She said her son Prashanth was kidnapped and she received a ransom call for money," stated city police commissioner CV Anand.

"On February 5, Prashanth left his house and did not return. After paying a ransom of Rs 50,000 against a demand for Rs 1 lakh, the family approached the police. A meticulous investigation with technical evidence led to the arrest of Suresh and his gang-members, M. Rohit, 18, Induri Jagadish, 25, and K. Kunal, 19.

Another aide, Swetha Chary alias Sweety, is absconding," said the police, adding that they have been running this racket for the last 2 years.
Suresh, involved in 14 cases of robbery and property offences, was wanted in six cases of kidnappings. He had planned one on February 13 too, police sources said.

"A well-trained driver, Suresh purchased a Mitsubishi Pajero in August 2021 and has been practically living in the car. He only steps out to eat and use some washroom. He plans his kidnappings very carefully and targets the victims well in advance," police found out.

In the latest kidnapping, the victim’s family was made to roam around the city and the ransom money was later tied to a rope from under an ORR flyover and it was pulled up by the gang from above to avoid a confrontation.

Commissioner Anand said Suresh was inspired by the Netflix series, Money Heist, where the main character, a Professor, recruits several people to commit crimes. "Similarly, he hatched a plan and recruited a few persons, including a woman, to kidnap innocent people to earn easy money.

He targeted innocent people in his circle and initially induced them with the help of hired girls by sending them voice messages or text messages over WhatsApp and Instagram to gain their faith. Later, he would ask the victim to meet at a convenient place to execute his plan. From there, he would kidnap the person in his car.

Everyone inside the car, including the victim, is given a mask to wear. He then uses the victim’s mobile phone and would demand money ransom through WhatsApp calls to avoid police-tracking. He also uses a friend’s hotspot by keeping his phone in flight mode.

"As the victims were trapped and lured by women, they usually were not complaining to the police," stated the commissioner.

Suresh is the brother of habitual house burglar Gunjapogu Sudhakar involved in several cases. He committed his first crime in 2011. He had been last arrested by the Miyapur Police and was released from prison in February, 2020.

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