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Man Who Took Daughters Arrested

April 25, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A New Jersey engineer who told his wife he was taking their children to work as part of ``Take Our Daughters to Work Day″ was arrested with the girls in London early Friday.

Investigators believe Sanjay K. Soni, 35, of Dayton, N.J., planned to take the girls, ages 3 and 7, to Bangalore, India. He had purchased the plane tickets for India Air Flight 102 on April 16, said Lt. Ron Schmalz of the South Brunswick Township, N.J., police.

The police have charged him with interfering with the custody of the girls, Schmalz said.

The three arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York late Friday night on a flight from London.

According to police, Soni took the girls from their Dayton home about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, telling their mother, Sona Soni, he was bringing them to his workplace, Volmar Inc., in East Windsor, N.J.

``He already had his stuff all packed and was ready to take the two children,″ said James T. York, chief of the criminal division of Interpol’s Washington, D.C., office.

When they had not returned home by 7 p.m., Mrs. Soni paged her husband, who said he was running late and would return within the hour, police said.

But Mrs. Soni called police minutes later after a family friend delivered a letter in which her husband said he had taken the children out of the country, York said.

Police quickly notified Interpol and airport officials, Schmalz said, and British authorities arrested Soni about 1:45 a.m. EDT Friday, after the plane landed in London for a brief layover.

Police from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, arrested Soni upon his arrival, said Lt. Dan Carbonaro. He was to be taken to Queens Central Booking until appearing in court in Queens, N.Y., for an extradition hearing. Carbonaro said that hearing would probably be held Monday.

The girls were reunited with their mother at the airport.

Schmalz said there had been no reports of trouble at the Soni home, and that Mrs. Soni told officials the incident may have been prompted by recent marital problems.

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