Frequently, parents will set their children off on the wrong path then have the effrontery to be disappointed when those children are found to be toeing that line all too well. All too often, children of the insanely wealthy turn out to be low life, non-achievers because they were raised to know daddy/mommy’s money will always be at their disposal. Thankfully this is not always the case but in instances where it is, the results are frequently heartbreaking.
- Viraj Mashru faked his abduction after his father cut off his allowance
- Accomplices demanded ‘ransom’ of £614,000 from wealthy businessman
- Mashru told his stricken father his kidnappers had threatened to rape him
- The student, 21, was actually hiding out at a hotel in north London
A spoilt student who faked his own kidnap in a bid to extort his wealthy father out of £614,000 in gold bullion has been jailed for more than three years.
Viraj Mashru, 21, staged the kidnap after his father Rajendra grew tired of his son’s wastrel lifestyle and cut off his £500-a-week allowance.
Mashru worked with accomplices to convice his father he had been abducted and would only be returned in exchange for a $1million bounty – all the while hiding out at a London hotel.
Mashru also claimed his supposed kidnappers had threatened to rape him, a court heard yesterday.
Working with a third accomplice, 31-year-old Marcus Bennett, Patel made a series of calls to Mr Mashru threatening to kill his son, in order to lure him from Kenya to London.
But student Mashru, whose extravagant lifestyle had been funded by his father, had been hiding out in a hotel in Wembley, northwest London, fully involved in the fake plot.
The plan was constructed after his father, fed-up with Mashru’s partying and extravagant spending, had cut off his monthly allowance of £2,000, Southwark Crown Court heard.
During the fake kidnap a total of £614,800 worth of gold bullion was demanded, with Mr Mashru instructed to deposit the ransom in a Harrods account.
Prosecutor Caroline Haughey said: ‘Mr Mashru junior had been living in the UK for some time, in theory continuing his studies.
‘His entire existence in the UK was funded by his family in Kenya. However recently the relationship cooled between Mr Mashru and his father to the extent his father, Rajendra, stopped providing him with money.
‘Mr Mashru subsequently came up with a plan to deceive his father into paying a significant amount of money.
‘In October 2012 Mr Mashru created a scenario whereby there was created an impression he had disappeared, when in fact he had gone to Bristol.’
She added that he later moved to a hotel in Wembley run by Patel, in a bid to avoid being seen by anybody who knew him.
On October 23 Rajendra Mashru received a call in Kenya asking if he was Mashru’s father and making the ransom demand.
Mr Mashru arrived flew to Britain on October 30 and was greeted at the airport by police who he had called and told of the plot.
During a series of calls that Mr Mashru received between October 25 and November 1, the businessman
he spoke to his son on one occasion who told him his purported kidnappers had threatened to rape him.
The men were caught on November 1, when police intercepted a car they believed belonged to someone involved in the plot, having analysed information collected from mobile phone monitoring.
When officers stopped the white Toyota in Rickmansworth they discovered Mashru, Patel and a third man in the vehicle.
Mashru initially stuck with his story, but when Patel told officers that the kidnapping was bogus, he admitted that he had been in on the conspiracy.
Both men were taken to Belgravia police station where they made full admissions with Mashru expressing relief that he had been caught.
‘This was a deeply unpleasant offence, it was cruel exploitation of your father’s love for you’
Judge Alastair McCreath
Bennett was arrested the following day and search of his home revealed several mobile phones and sim cards that had been used to make the ransom calls.
Sentencing them yesterday, Judge Alastair McCreath said: ‘You were a student in this country being supported generously by your father to the tune £2000 a month.
‘Almost every single student in this country would give their eye teeth to be supported as kindly as that.
‘But you lived with considerable extravagance and spent that and more and when your father firmly and properly removed your money to teach you the lessons that you had to learn, instead of tempering your expenditure you accrued debt.’
He added: ‘This was a deeply unpleasant offence, it was cruel exploitation of your father’s love for you.
‘The effect of it was surely to cause him, to your mother and others close to you and your family elsewhere huge and terrible worry over a significant period of time,’ the judge said.
He also said that he had reduced Mashru’s sentence because his father had written a letter to say that he had been forgiven.
Rajendra Mashru runs P N Mashru, a logistics firm based in Mombasa, Kenya.
According to its website the firm has more than 300 vehicles and its operation spans across East Africa.
Mashru, of Harrow, Middlesex, admitted one count of conspiracy to blackmail and was jailed for three years and nine months.
Bennett of St John’s Wood, north west London admitted the same charge and was sentenced to 12 months in jail.
Patel, of Wembley, northwest London will be sentenced on May 24 for the same charge.
Culled from dailymail.co.uk