Police arrest ‘ransom money’ scammer

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A fraud scheme to collect funds using conventional media and social networks ostensibly for ‘ransom money’ came to an end on Wednesday when Rawalpindi Police, responding to news reports, investigated the matter and registered a case against Shamsul Anwar, the father of a so-called unfortunate girl named Madina Anwar, who was reportedly ‘kidnapped for ransom’ by a terrorist outfit.
Nasirabad Police Chowki Supervisor and Investigation Officer Sub-Inspector Awais Akram told Pakistan Today that on media reports, police initiated an investigation into the alleged kidnapping on Wednesday. During interrogation, police found that Shamsul Anwar fabricated the story to make money off of public sympathies.
He revealed that Shamsul Anwar, in connivance with some accomplices in the media, fabricated a heart-rending story which was then carried in news reports. He said Anwar’s daughter had also been found from a neighbouring house and police had arrested him after registering a case of fraud (number 22/12) under Section 420, 499, 500 and 504 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Akram said when police contacted Anwar, he repeated the same story, which had also appeared in various newspapers. However, when the top cops of Rawalpindi Police interrogated him and asked him for the number from which he was receiving calls for ransom, he failed to give any specific numbers saying that the number never appeared on his mobile phone and it always appeared as “no number” on his screen.
He said police smelled a rat and the top cops ordered him to get details of Shamsul Anwar’s accounts in which he had received payments from various donors. He said the man had claimed that his daughter had been kidnapped but she was married and was living happily with her husband only a few yards from her parents’ house.
When Pakistan Today attempted to contact Anwar on his mobile phone (0346-5524259), his daughter answered and said she had received a couple of calls from different people who had informed her that her sister “has been recovered”. She confirmed that some police officials came to their house and her father had gone with them to the police station. However, she said she was unaware of her father’s arrest.
Social networking websites had been abuzz with prayers for the safe release of the girl all day. People kept appealing for donations on Facebook and Twitter but expressed disappointment when the episode turned out to be a fraud.

88 COMMENTS

  1. m soo crimson with fury this is sooo pathetic i hope d lad never gets outta jail :@ i cried my eyes out afta readin his stupid story last night …

  2. have we also asked the media sections who helped this fraudster to make money in this scam……why they spread the story without first investigating it…..or they are just there to scandalize???

  3. Do you really think it was essential (and ethical) to publish the phone number? Even if you believe the man is guilty of a crime, does that give you or anyone else an automatic right to invade his privacy and that of his household? I am more shocked at you than I am at this scam.

    • the scammer himself gave the number to The News in the scam article.
      this story just copied the number-no ethical issues! everybody already knows the number from the scam article.

    • I’m with you 100% on that, is thsi reporter a fool. Why won’t he put his phone number in the paper so people can start calling him n see how he feels. Dumb *

  4. I read his story in The News yesterday and I was seriously shaken. Must've tweeted/forwarded it to so many people….. Yes its true, we have become worse then animals

    • hahahahahahHAHAHAHAHAhahahahaaa…

      Now give Shamsul Anwar RAILWAY ministry..!!! Or perhaps Prime Ministry..!!

      hoohoahahaaaaHAHAHAHAHA…!!!

  5. I knew it. I even asked all my friends not to trust and directly contact the news paper or the web admin. Allah karay ye wali news sachi ho k he is a fraud.

  6. After reading the article featured in 'The News' written by Shakeel Anjum, my friends and I wanted to donate money to the father from Karachi so he could pay off the ransom to get his daughter released. A friend of mine was even willing to pay the whole Rs. 18 million ransom.

    Before calling the father Shamsul Anwar on the number provided in the article, I personally called 'The News' and spoke to their Islamabad Office where this news originated. The newspaper office confirmed me that the story written by Shakeen Anjum was indeed true and that articles are never printed without sources being confirmed. The correspondent at 'The News' asked me to leave my name and telephone number so he could call me back the next day and further confirm it.

    I received a call the next day at 1pm on my cellphone from the 'The News' Islamabad office by the same person I had spoken to a day earlier. He told me that he had personally spoken to the crime investigative journalist Shakeel Anjum and that article was indeed authentic and not a scam and that it was safe to donate the money.

    Several people I know donated money. I even know non-Pakistanis living abroad who read the article on social feeds like facebook who were desperately trying to call the telephone number to play their role to assist in raising funds. I am left bitter after this experience; with a feeling that this is a country of crooks. I don’t know if the donated money will be returned or not, but I would like to say shame on ‘The News’ and the whole Jang Group, you have lost your credibility as reliable news providers.

    Actual people who really do need help will now be deprived of it by the scam pulled by Shakeel Anjum the journalist and Shamsul Anwar the father because people like me have lost faith in people.

    • I'm American, I'm white, I've never been to Pakistan and I was going to give this man money as well! The story of his son being sawed in half by the kidnappers gave me nightmares. You're so right that people who are actually in trouble will suffer as a result of this scammer and his accomplices in the media

    • So true!!! totally agree with you…however i feel it is important that you remain the kind person that you are, willing to help all those in need. God is watching!

    • untill and unless u don't see with your eyes dont give out money!!
      or els you be fooled like this lol!

    • I also called this guy the day that this story broke. I spoke to him briefly and he told me that he has so far collected 150000 rupees only. The connection dropped, but I told him to call me and I was trying to arrange some money. This figure of 150000 rupees to me was the red flag…. I didnt expect that Pakistani's were that cheap not to help some one… Its out of our character.

    • Completely agreed..This will kill even the good side of pakistanis..they will never think of donation again :/

    • Completely agreed..This will kill even the good side of Pakistanis..They will never think of giving donation again :/..Pakistanis are known to have a soft heart..They donated in earth quakes floods trusts besides all differences :/. I am happy that painful story wasn't true but he played with the sentiments of Pakistani people and that was the last thing they had ..R.I.P for ever "Soft hearts":/..People will stop donating even to ZMS charity eye hospital made by my father and poor people will suffer.God bless Pakistan :/

  7. There should be an immediate apology from (The News) and Shakeel Anjum(the writer)should be suspended for publishing such a story without initial investigation. They are playing with people emotions. Shame on us.I was really disturbed for some days after reading this story and i forwarded this to so many people n now im feeling guilty as well :((

    • spot on zullu. the journalist should be terminated from service with immediate effect. the criticality of this job demands such punishment.

  8. Surah Al-Isra :: Verse 36

    And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge (e.g. one's saying: "I have seen," while in fact he has not seen, or "I have heard," while he has not heard). Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allah).

    • But we have also been taught to believe if something comes from a reliable source. I thought (atleast I can speak for myself) that The News is a reputable newspaper and would never publish anything like that before investigating on their own. There goes my trust …

  9. We should remind ourselves, that the people have reached out in times of crises, from the Earthquake crises, to the Floods, the people, and the youth have been on the forefront…

    With regards to this news, though certainty may be at question, however there are many more serious cases like these, happening all the time. We should ask ourselves, does our Sincerity triggers only in front of snapshots of oppression, or does our sincerity actually pushes us to continuously focus on the root of these oppression, which is relaying tyranny continuously.

    It is time, we come out to dislodge this flawed and failing system of Democracy (and Capitalism), for it has neither the capacity nor the intent of solving the problem of the masses.

    We need to come out, together and gear our efforts for revival of Islamic State, the Khilafah.

    • Hey wake up,time have changed and there is no need for (Hizb ul Tehree) Khalifa in today's world

  10. There is no need to lose faith in people.I also contributed whatever little I had and ran around frantically spreading the news for more people to donate.My faith got renewed rather than lost because so many of us came together to help this one man in such short a time.There may be one scammer out there but there's thousands of people like us who would not see a person in need without doing something about it.I am proud of our nation as once again we have stood up and united against the odds.Pakistan Zindabad!

  11. Despite the lie that this man had spurned, I loved the unity and the genuine show of humanity that Pakistanis expressed. We'll have scammers like this again and again, but to see my people rise up to the occasion to help a person they barely know is heartwarming. As to the scammer in question, the courts will see to him.
    I'm honoured to be a Pakistani.

  12. 1. The Policy and Law should prosecute Shamsul Anwar, booked correctly for fraud. Give him a stiff punishment to serve as a deterrent for our other beggars.

    2. We should all rise against The News and Shakeel Anjum (the writer) who wrote this article without verification. Boycott The News until an apology is published and Shakeel Anjum is punished or fired. Write about it in the Social Media, newspapers etc.

    I was sickened after I read the original article. I couldn't believe this could happen to people, I was questioning what I was doing in this country. But the number of people who came forward with donations, the amount of donations, have convinced me that there is SO much good in this country. People genuinely care about their fellow humans and citizens. Its disgusting what this scum did, because I am sure it will put off people from donations or giving to the real needy.

  13. What we should also recognize is that scams are common outside of Pakistan as well just as they are inside the country. The good thing is that it was caught on time and let's hope every donor gets his money back. The more such people are caught, the better. It's a good thing that police did not took a cut from the donations and let him go scot-free as if the whole story was true.

  14. Despite the lie that this man had spurned, I loved the unity and the genuine show of humanity that Pakistanis expressed. We'll have scammers like this again and again, but to see my people rise up to the occasion to help a person they barely know is heartwarming. As to the scammer in question, the courts will see to him. I'm honoured to be a Pakistani.

  15. Really makes u wonder about the integrity of our press!! Do they just print anything without verification??

  16. I was also worried about her and could not sleep at all…shame on you anwar and involved peoples..shame for our nation

  17. Boycott the news agency until they apologize for being irresponsible. and the news reporter should be suspended. This story helped scam to play with people emotions and people will loose their trust in humanity. This fraud person Shamsul anwar should be make an example of to never play with people emotions.

  18. what about his sons i read they were kidnapped in 2006 and one was found dead the other was injected with God know what and now he has blood cancer is that fabricated to ???????? there no mention of them

  19. What about his son… was that whole story a fake? Btw I had my doubts since Jan 1st 2001 was a saturday, and he said he wnt for prayers while the imam gave Khutba.

  20. Did any of us grow up as an internet user hearing "Don't believe everything that you read on the internet?

    Lets get back down to the basics, seek knowledge supported by facts…

  21. It has come to our notice that a website 'Urdu Point' and Pakistan Today newspaper have published a story claiming that Shamsul Anwar's incident was an alleged "scam" and that he lied to collect money and what not.

    We say this with 100% established verification that the case was not a "scam" and that a special segment of the security forces was indeed involved in recovering Madina Anwar from a dispatch point where the militants dropped her off.
    @Obie bro dont loose faith the story was true .

  22. this is pakistanti qoum! hahahah !! ju chahaye pagal bana daye!! jaisai kaye PTI bana rahi hai avam ko pagal!! with so called revolution hahah lol!!! nice work man!! kuch nahi hoga is qoum ka!!
    geo tu aisai geo tu aisai:D

  23. This is really sad that this shameful act has been done by the person, now whos going to believe on some one with real problem.

    May allah give us all hidayat that money isnt everything

  24. WTF?? Yesterday, I was so depressed to read the news story about this helpless man and infact tried to transfer some funds but fortunate for me, the account number was incomplete and I could not transfer the money.
    Due to this fraud person, next time I will think many times before act on the similar case.

  25. Pathetic! I've been thinking all day and night about it and was feeling guilty as I coudnt do anything :@ sick! People are unpredictable and impossible.

  26. I for some reason knew from the beginning that this whole story about shamsul anwar is a scam.a few friends forwarded me msgs containing the phone no of the victim and the tragic story which was written in such a way that it would bring tears even in the eyes of people who were stone hearted. I deleted the message straight away but with a little guilt in my heart but just knew its a scam. I feel bad for people living outside Pakistan and within Pakistan who have donated thinking it was for a good cause. I'm sorry to say but I have lost hope in all the trust foundations where people generously pay .i think it's better to go out there yourself and give money with ur own hands to people who are actually poor and who genuinely deserve it . Sigh

  27. maybe its true or may be its a wrong allegation to prove a father wrong against some big shots anything can happen here in PAKISTAN but yes how can we trust and help ppl

  28. Maybe no one realizes that this kind of shit happens all the time but in order for such things to be successful a share has to be given to the police.

    I guess this guy was too greedy and did not want to share. The police will still get its bhatta but it will have to be through a different channel i.e., release the father. Lol, we might see his daughteer apeal for help and money to get his father released!!! It will not be fake this time

  29. I also deposited Rs 5000 in his bank account , The guy proved to be a cheater. The reporter of the the news is equally responsible for publishing this fraudulent news in The News an international newspaper of repute without authentication.One thing good I see, that there are God fearing people in this world ,who get united for a noble cause

  30. in my opinion the newspaper that carried the story should fire their crime reporter as he is equally resposible for the this act the news industry in our counrtry leaves much to be desired i wonder why the judiciary does not pay any attention to the fact that all our media gives us is sleepless nights they should be harnessed under some code as well

  31. Shakeel Anjum should be asked to give an explanation ,but excused just this once if found innocently involved. There is enough negative and painful news in this country and it reflects on the nation. What concrete action is being taken against the father?

  32. allah hum musalamno par reham karay,sachay logon ka haq na mara jaye,…..hum me aqhuat or bhaichara ho,,,,humay sunnate nabwi per chalnay ki tofeeq ata farmai,,,,,,,,amin,,,

  33. is this really true… ?at the very first instant, my mind said that may be it would be in a result of high officals pressure.the officals may not be able to handle the kidnappers, so had put the news of being this story wrong… because whenever this kind of situation develops , in which the people get emmotional influence, they used to get such cheap things into stream… *politics*
    am not sure about anything, whethr this story was true or fake ;

  34. Why would Pakistan Today provide the number of the girl. I mean this is harassment! are there no laws against the Media

  35. So what about the money people sent in? Would it be recovered? Specially for the ones who transferred it using Western Union and other sources?

  36. Shamsul Anwar should be a politician, the Chief of Pakistan Army Staff or a Pakistan Supreme Court Justice

  37. There is also a big fraud committed by someone who thinks he’s a professional hacker. In fact, he is just a little kid trying to cheat other people by not delivering his promises but in turn, ransoms his benefactor for money in return for some stolen websites. Classic case of the dog biting the owner back. His name is Ahsan Zaidi and he lives in Lahore, Pakistan too.

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