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British couple kidnap case: UK court praises Chennai police

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Chennai: A UK court has lauded the Chennai Police for the rescue of a kidnapped British couple here last year while convicting two London-based accused in the case.

The Croydon Crown Court Judge has on March 19 convicted Ajanthan and Ramesh Sornalingam, the masterminds behind the kidnap of British citizens Thavarajah and his wife and sentenced them to imprisonment for nine and seven-and-a-half years respectively, a Chennai Police release said today.

“If it was not for the good work of the Indian police in rescuing the hostages… the consequences for Mr and Mrs Thavarajah may well have been far more serious,” the release quoted from the judgement.


London-based businessman Kanapathipillai Thavarajah and his wife Salajah, from Edgware in London, were waylaid and kidnapped as they arrived in Chennai airport on May 29, 2013.

The kidnappers had demanded a sum of around 2.58 crore (£300,000) ransom for their release.

The couple had flown to Colombo for a wedding, before coming to India on a nine-day temple tour.

Within three days after the kidnap, Chennai Police safely rescued the hostages from Mandharakuppam in Cuddalore District and arrested 13 persons, co-ordinating with the couple’s daughter Dharshini based in London.

Dharshini sent audio recordings of the conversation she had with the kidnappers, from which Chennai Police was able to identify their location.

On information from Chennai police, the Kidnap and Special Crime Unit of Scotland Yard, London, United Kingdom had registered a case of conspiracy to kidnapping against Ajanthan and Ramesh Sornalingam, who worked in Thavarajah’s business centre.