A debt-ridden Indian businessman was so desperate for money that he faked his own kidnapping and tried to extract a US$10,000 ransom from his family. But Insan Jaspal Singh's plan went astray when his worried daughter sent a message to the police and he was jailed for two weeks yesterday. Kowloon City Court heard that Singh, who had lost money in his pharmacy business in India and owed US$40,000, visited his medical-student son in Guangzhou early this month. He then came to Hong Kong and on Monday called his daughter and claimed to have been kidnapped. She called her brother in Guangzhou, then asked a friend in Hong Kong to report the kidnapping to the police. They mounted an investigation involving 31 officers only to find that Singh himself was the mastermind. Jailing Singh for wasting police time, Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen described his actions as an "outrage". He had wasted a lot of the police force's efforts and caused his family severe worry about his safety. The court heard that the police assigned a team including a superintendent, a chief inspector, two senior inspectors, seven sergeants and 20 detective constables, to conduct the investigation lasting 441 working hours and costing HK$63,228. Singh, who pleaded guilty to one charge of causing wasteful employment of police, said he was upset and remorseful. He said his original intention had been to get some money from his family so that he could repay part of his loans. In their investigation, the police checked the security-camera footage of different locations attempting to find out where Singh was kidnapped. They also examined in detail his and his family's background and that of their associates in Hong Kong. Singh called his daughter on Tuesday, saying his captors had released him in Central. The police interviewed Singh after finding him in Pedder Street that night and found his story unconvincing, the court heard. He then admitted he had made up the kidnapping.