Vizag city police have arrested four individuals who were allegedly running a child kidnapping ring in Vizag. Two of the detained are women. Three others were arrested for purchasing children, from the gang, while two more were apprehended on the charge of mediating between the gang members and the buyers. The gang conducted a series of five kidnappings in three years. They had sold four of the kidnapped children for Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1.2 lakh each.
The four, apprehended in the child kidnapping case, have been identified as B. Nagamani (the mastermind), J. Anand alias Sekhar, T. Sumanth Kumar, and M. Lakshmi; all of them are residents of Vizag. M. Jyothi and Ch. Devi have also been taken into custody on the charge of brokering the deals. Four children were rescued by the police and handed over to the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) officials.
According to Police Commissioner R. K. Meena (IPS), who spoke to the media on Friday, it all unraveled when the police were investigating the disappearance of a 2-year old that took place on 5 August 2019 at Simhachalam. Sekhar was arrested by the police and after a further probe, it was revealed that this wasn’t the sole instance of child kidnapping.
The kingpin, B. Nagamani carried out the first kidnapping with T. Sumanth Kumar. This was an eight-month-old girl, taken from VUDA Park and sold to Satyavathi, Nagamani’s sister for Rs. 50,000. Sekhar, who was an auto driver in Arilova, was approached by Nagamani in 2017 and he sold his own daughter to M. Zianuddin for Rs. 1 lakh. In July 2017, their next kidnapping was a girl from Arilova but returned her to the police claiming that they found her on the street. The gang disappeared for a year before striking again in November 2018. It was a two-year-old boy from Bheemili and sold him to Ch. Eswara Rao for Rs. 1.2 lakh. The abduction, on 5 August 2019, this year was the last one by the gang.
Talking about the gang’s planning, DCP (Zone II) B. Uday Bhaskar said that B. Nagamani and Sekhar conducted recce in various places around the city. They targeted children aged between 2 months to 3 years old so that the children can’t identify their parents. B. Nagamani, who was in flesh trade, used to share photos of the children on Whatsapp with her contacts and looked for childless couples. She would pose the children as orphans who got separated from their parents to convince the buyers.