Five people have been arrested in Spain and France for extorting a 110,000 pounds ransom for British boy Sahil Saeed who was kidnapped in Jhelum about two weeks ago and freed on Tuesday.

Spanish police said on Wednesday they had arrested two Pakistani men and a Romanian woman in the village of Constanti in Catalonia.

One of the men and the woman had returned after collecting the ransom in Paris.

The police said in a statement that two relatives of those detained in Spain were arrested by French police in Paris on suspicion of collaborating with them.

Spanish police kept the three under surveillance and did not make the arrests until after five-year-old Sahil was freed unharmed by his kidnappers.

Police found mobile phones in the flat where the three had been staying, which had been used to contact Sahil’s father, as well as 105,000 pounds and 3,565 Euros and a computer bought with the remainder of the ransom.

Police added that the first phone calls demanding a ransom had been made from Spain, which investigators tracked down to near where the arrests were made.

The kidnappers had told Sahil’s father to travel first to Manchester in Britain and then to Paris to hand over the ransom money. —Reuters/AFP

Hamid Asghar adds from Gujar Khan: Police in Jhelum were raiding suspected places for criminals involved in the kidnapping, an official said.

According to sources, police were looking for a ‘gang of five’ and raids were being conducted in various areas across the country.
An important member of the ring was arrested in Dina area on Wednesday evening and he is being interrogated.

Over half a dozen people were already in police custody, including the taxi driver Adnan who had arrived at the house of Sahil’s grandparents to take him and his father to the Islamabad airport at about the same time armed men barged in, robbed the house and kidnapped the boy at gunpoint.

Reports about the role of an ‘insider’ in the kidnapping continue to be a mystery, but police officials said everything would soon be clear.

Waseem Ashraf Butt adds from Gujrat: Police picked up two brothers, Ijaz Younis and Hassan Raza, from Baharwal village in Kharian tehsil on Tuesday night and took them to Jhelum, but released them on Wednesday.

Shahab Din, a record keeper at the Lalamusa tehsil municipal office, was arrested from his office. Another suspect is also reported to have been arrested.

Police are keeping a close watch in the area between Guliana Morr and Channan village where the boy was found on Tuesday.

Jhelum and Gujrat police cordoned off Faiselpura area in Lalamusa on Tuesday night but made no arrest.

Police sources said that most of the members of the international gang involved in the case belonged to Gujrat.

According to family sources, British high commission’s officials took Sahil to Islamabad on Tuesday night, along with his grandparents and uncles.

The boy was presented in the court of Civil Judge Haider Ali in Jhelum on Wednesday and later handed over to officials of the high commission who will unite him with his parents when they arrive from the United Kingdom.

Sahil’s father Raja Naqqash Saeed is likely to return to Pakistan along with his elder brother on Thursday, but it is not clear if he will be accompanied by his wife Akila Naqqash.