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Two Australians among three held for kidnap plot


Chandigarh : Three people, including two Australians, were arrested here Friday for plotting to kidnap a youth for ransom and for possessing contraband and arms, police said.

The accused were identified as Grant Alanestein, 44, Simon Galti, 44 (both Australians) and Gursher Singh, 39, a resident of Punjab’s Ropar town, a police official said.

“Following a tip-off, police laid a trap here in Sector 35 and arrested the three accused. Gursher came in contact with Simon and Grant during his stay in Australia. He had gone there on a student visa,” Inspector General of Police (Chandigarh) Pradeep Kumar Srivastava told reporters here Friday.

“They had planned to abduct a youth named Harsh, who lived in Ropar and is an acquaintance of Gursher. They were planning to demand ransom of Rs.1 crore from Harsh’s family and had plans to enter into the drugs business with that money,” said Srivastava.

Police also recovered 20 grams charas (hashish), three air pistols, two knives and one Gypsy vehicle from the accused.

They were booked under various sections of the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and the Arms Act, and for abducting in order to murder.

“We were following their activities for the last few days. We suspect that they have links with other drug peddlers of the region and we will interrogate them,” an official of the crime branch here said.

Ropar town is around 45 km from here.