He's a man who's willing to pay for murder. She's a lady who suddenly finds herself as his hired gun. An undercover cop will put his life on the line to try to stop it before it's too late, and haul the killer husband in for questioning.


His name is Aafaq Manejwala, and he will never forget meeting the woman who changed his life forever. According to police, she's a call girl he found on Craigslist who he paid all of $40 for a certain sexual favor. This lady of the night may have heard some unusual requests. But this one takes the cake.

"He referenced that he wanted to 'off' somebody and that this would be beneficial to both their needs," said Howard County Police Detective Daniel Branigan.

So who does he want dead?

"Originally he referred to the victim in this case as a roommate, then it turned into a girlfriend. Then he finally admitted it that the target was in fact his wife," said Detective Daniel Branigan.

His wife -- the mother of his 3-year-old son. The woman he has cut out of their honeymoon photo. Text messages reveal a bitter custody battle, with his wife threatening to take their son and leave the country, writing:

"At the airport. Goodbye. My phone is going dark soon. Things can't be any other way."

Aafaq writes back: "Please don't go with him. Please just make a mature decision. You're taking him away from his father."

Police say he desperately wants sole custody of the boy, and his wife gone.

"There was the financial aspect where he was in debt, there was a million-dollar life insurance policy on the victim," said Det. Branigan.

So is this call girl the kind of girl that would kill a man's wife? Well, for $15,000 paid in installments, it's a deal -- sort of.

"Her initial idea was possibly duping him. After obtaining the money up front -- cut and run," said Det. Branigan.

Police say that over several meetings he lays out every detail of how he wants the job done at the couple's gated community townhouse in Laurel, Maryland.

"He gave specific instructions to his home, how to make entry, where his door was," said Branigan.

Aafaq Manejwala has thought of everything.

"Even to the point where he is telling her if you wore yoga pants, they're more flexible and you will be able to move around more," said Howard County Police Detective Sergeant Matthew Tanis.

He even considers having her do the job with a car.

"I think at one point he might have even suggested to run her over," said Det. Branigan.

But the unlikely lady killer from Craigslist has to think of her own safety too. In a later meeting, cops say she actually records the conversation on her cellphone in case something should happen to her.

Suspect: "Wanna swing by the house just so I can show you a couple things? I really, really, really want you to know that I will be a regular source of income for you and then I'll hit you up with the lump sum. I'm not gonna [----] around with you."_

Woman: "OK."

Suspect: "Once I do this deal and give you this money right here, we've officially now set ourselves up. We're in a deal right now. This is a go."

Woman: "I got you."

He is intoxicated with dreams of a dead wife when they actually get pulled over at a sobriety police checkpoint.

Officer: "The reason I stopped you, you got a headlight out. Are you aware of that?"

Suspect: "Yeah, that's why I have my flashers on the bottom on, so I do know that's out. So let me give you my license right now."

Officer: "Do me a favor, stay in the vehicle."

Woman: "This is really just too much. They have lights on on both sides. They're blocking this whole street right now."

Suspect: "Just keep it cool OK?"

Woman: "I got you."

Suspect: "We're gonna go out, grab a bite to eat."

Officer: "So what I did today is I just gave you a repair order. You have 10 days to get it done and get it signed. I appreciate your cooperation. Have a good night."

But not so fast. Suddenly, as they pull away, the officer is back at the window.

Suspect: "Aw man, again?"

Woman: "Are you serious?"

Officer: "Hey man, just to let you know you got a brake light out on the passenger side, also."

Suspect: "OK, I'll get that looked at too."

Officer: "All right."

But the call-girl/hit-woman is rattled.

Woman: "This is all too much. I am beyond uncomfortable."

Aafaq Manejwala wants his wife dead.

"He had plans in place, there was no doubt in our minds that he wanted to be successful in this," Howard County Police Detective Sergeant Matthew Tanis tells Crime Watch Daily.

And now the call girl he's hired -- not for sex, but to kill his wife -- is having second thoughts. At one point during their harrowing traffic stop she prays in fear even while holding the $200 down payment for murder in her hand.

Police say she first planned to take that upfront money and run. But now she's having an attack of conscience about leaving Manejwala's wife and child in mortal danger.

"She had nothing to gain from it by reporting it, and she was in our area doing an illegal activity," said Det. Tanis.

Now, in an incredible turn of events, she bolsters her courage, takes the plunge and goes to police.

"It's hard to believe," said Det. Daniel Branigan. "But she produced, she actually showed us text messages and the audio recording that she had done, which obviously gave complete credibility to her story."

Cops need to use her to set a trap, but also to keep her out of danger, while going after Aafaq Manejwala. And they are on a risky learning curve with no room for error.

"Murder-for-hire cases are extremely rare," said Det. Tanis. "I had never see that before, and this was the first one we had ever worked."

And they have to come up with something quick before Manejwala finds someone else to kill his wife.

"She was advised to suggest that she had a cousin that could do the job. 'He's not in town at the moment, but he will be coming up soon,'" Det. Branigan tells Crime Watch Daily.

The supposed cousin is actually an undercover cop, and it will be his first time in a murder-for-hire sting as well.

"Make no mistake, the undercover officer in this case, he was putting his life in danger for the protection of this woman and her child," said Det. Tanis.

Police are certain that Manejwala will not hesitate to act if threatened.

"If he changes his mind or if he thinks he's exposed then the one person he is going to get rid of is the person he is telling this information to, which in this case was the undercover officer," said Det. Tanis.

The courageous call girl is in no less danger, but meets Manejwala one last time alone. He agrees to meet her cousin.

"The very next day we had the informant text Mr. Manejwala stating that her cousin had arrived and that he wished to meet with Mr. Manejwala," said Det. Branigan.

Crime Watch Daily sat down with the undercover cop posing as the hit-man cousin. We've agreed to keep him undercover.

"I knew it was going to be a challenge but I was definitely up for it and looking forward to it," the undercover officer tells Crime Watch Daily.

At their first meeting in the undercover's car, Manejwala gets down to business quickly.

Manejwala: "I got some money."

Undercover: "OK."

Manejwala: "I need somebody gone."

Undercover: "All right. You ain't no [----] narc, are you?"

Manejwala: "Hell no."

Later Manejwala breaks out his phone and shows the undercover a real home video of exactly where to find his wife in the house. It's a literal road map to murder.

"He kind of opened the door, walked up the steps, showed me that she laid on the left side of the bed and this is where I could find her," the undercover officer tells Crime Watch Daily.

Manejwala: "It needs to look like an accident."

Undercover: "All right."

Manejwala: "Like a house robbery, or anything else you suggest."

Undercover: "Some people want their wives or girlfriends or somebody to suffer, you know what I'm saying?"

Manejawala: "No. I mean, just end it."

Undercover: "Yeah."

Aafaq Manejwala says he will take his son to the boy's grandparents on the night of the murder. But he will be there himself when it happens, and he wants to be a victim too -- anything to make it look convincing.

Manejwala: "You have to beat me up pretty good in there."

Undercover: "Yeah."

Manejwala: "You can even like stab me in the arm or like the side."

At another meeting, a detective inside an unmarked car follows the two men as they take a look at Manejwala's house, and cops listen in.

Manejwala: "Maybe 200 feet up there and that's the gated community. The only way to get in is that gate."

Undercover: "Yeah."

Manejwala: "Once you do the job you come back up through the woods."

Undercover: "Yeah."

Manejwala: "Come right over here to your car."

And he'd also like the killer cousin to bring along a can of spray-paint for some finishing touches on the way out the door -- something to make it look like a hate crime.

"I believe he's Muslim, and he talked about spray-painting something on the walls as well too, to kind of make it seem realistic," said the undercover officer.

But detectives are about to get hit with a curve ball: Aafaq's identical twin brother, Arsh. Could Arsh be setting up his twin, or vice versa? It gives a whole new meaning to the term "dead ringer."

"We didn't know if we were dealing with some kind of weird family issue here or something like that," said Det. Tanis. "I don't think there was any way weren't going to do this without making sure that, you know, we didn't have the twin brother trying to set his brother up for a crime."

In fact, that becomes a major issue in the sting, making sure they had eyes on the twin while they went after Aafaq.

During a third meeting with the undercover officer, Manejwala forks over a $100 advance. It seals the deal, and the fate of his murder plans.

"Gave me the money, he got out of the car. I pulled out," said the undercover officer.

Cops swoop in and make the arrest.

"I was there when he was taken into custody," said Det. Tanis. "He was shocked and very upset. I think he thought he was going to get away with it."

Back at the police station, cops have a talk with Manejwala.

Detective: "What I have to do here is tell you the most serious charge against you is solicitation to commit murder."

Manejwala: "Wow. I feel as if I have done nothing wrong and everything that has gone on so far, that in your investigation, is all fabricated, it's all a lie."

Detective: "Who do you think is fabricating and lying?"

Manejwala: "I was fabricating and lying."

"He was trying to explain it as this was a game he was playing and that he was just setting this up," said Det. Tanis.

"He was gonna be the big hero that came to the rescue and saved his wife, and it was gonna help their marriage," said Det. Branigan. "That plan was completely not feasible."

Manejawla: "My family and I, we have a beautiful relationship. We have a beautiful family. Everything is perfect in my life right now. It's all a mistake. You won't find anything. There's nothing there."

But Aafaq Manejwala lawyers up.

Detectives sit down with his wife and tell her the whole story. Despite their bitter custody battle, she could not believe the man she married wanted her dead.

"Her reaction was just absolute shock," said Det. Branigan. "She had no idea her life was basically being turned upside down in an instant. It took a lot of convincing to understand what was going on. She really didn't believe us, and I don't blame her. I probably wouldn't believe me either."

But even now the surprises keep coming. Cops want to keep Manejwala behind bars until his trial. And they're worried about that twin brother.

"During the bail review process, there was a concern that he might be able to actually take his brother's identity and flee the country," said Det. Branigan.

But Branigan is stunned to find Manejwala free in the courthouse even as he's trying to keep him in jail.

"I looked at him and I was like, How did he make bail already? I was very confused, I actually had to, I went up and introduced myself," said Det. Branigan. "And he introduced himself as the twin brother."

It's Arsh. That's a relief. And cops say he was never implicated in any wrongdoing.

While being held, Aafaq Manejwala gets a visit from a longtime secret girlfriend, who also gets the shock of her life.

"She had no clue he was married," said Det. Tanis. "It was kind of odd because even when she found out she was still trying to figure a way to stand by him."

Later, in front of a judge, Manejwala never tells that story about fabricating the crime.

"He pled guilty to solicitation to commit first-degree murder, in which he was sentenced to 50 years, suspend all but 20," said Det. Tanis.

In the end it's the result of some fine police work, and a tip from a call girl with a conscience.

"She could have never even reported it and we would have been none the wiser," said Det. Tanis. "There's no doubt in my mind that if she hadn't reported this, his wife would have ended up deceased."

And along with that Good Samaritan, cops say they also caught a little bit of a lucky break: While talking to the informant, Manejwala confessed that this wasn't the first time he tried to hire someone to kill his wife, telling the undercover officer he even provided that person a truck to commit the act, but the hired hit-man took the truck and ran, never to be seen again.

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