Three cops held for harassing, looting family outside hotel

LAHORE: Three police officials allegedly involved in harassing and extorting an amount of Rs50,000 from `an elite family` outside a restaurant in Gulberg have been arrested and sent behind the bars after registration of a case over `extortion charges.

The policemen took the family forcibly to a bank branch in Gulberg, accusing them of `involvement in immoral activities` and got the money withdrawn through the ATM.

There were reports that the suspected police officials had been targeting couples outside the restaurants in Gulberg.

The modus operandi was that they used to make video recordings of the couples sitting in cars and deprive them of their money and other belongings over the allegations of committing immoral activities.

Reports suggested that they used to take the `preys` to the banks and withdraw money through the ATM cards, hurling threats that they would upload the video on the social media or take them to the police station to lodge a criminal case against them.

An official privy to the information toldDawn that the matter came to the limelight as they had repeated the crime while targeting an elite family which was close to a high-ranked officer of a security institute.

The senior officer of the law-enforcement agency expressed his utter displeasure when the matter was reported to him by the victim family.

The official said he immediately called Inspector General of Police Punjab Dr Usman Anwar and asked him to take notice of the incident.The official said the police high-ups dispatched various teams to trace and arrest the policemen within hours.

The Gulberg police later arrested the cops who were identified as Umar Akram, Abbas and Irshad belonging to the operations wing of the Lahore police.

According to the FIR, the suspected police officials approached the car parked alongside Hali Road. They asked the family to come out of the vehicle and on questioning they accused them of committing immoral activities.

It further stated that the man, who was occupying the driving seat, told the police officials that the woman sitting in the car hailed from his family.

On this, the policemen abused the manand threatened to take him to the police station to lodge a case of `involvement in immoral activities`, according to the FIR.

Meanwhile, one of the policemen then demanded money from the man to avoid criminal case.

When he told the officials that he had no cash, they forcibly took him to a nearby bank (MCB) at Main Boulevard, Gulberg, and got Rs50,000 drawn through his ATM card, reads the FIR.

The official source said it was the second such incident.

Earlier, a racket of the officials from the Gulberg and Ghalib Market police stations had been detected some years back.

He said the policemen had recorded video films of several couples outside the restaurants and blackmailed them for money.

At that time the police high-ups had recovered several explicit video clips of the couples and families from the mobile phones of the policemen.

However, the matter was restricted to minor departmental punishments only as the police high-ups had feared that it might cause embarrassment for the department.