Heart-wrenching pleas for the safe return of 22-year-old University of Toronto student who disappeared after saying he was being followed by three armed men have been answered, but not in a way family or friends could have imagined.

An anonymous call led police yesterday to a St. Catharines address where they arrested Furqan Muhammad-Haroon and charged him with mischief, saying he faked his own abduction last Saturday afternoon.

Det. Karen Hunte said the anonymous call came yesterday afternoon and Muhammad-Haroon was found a few hours later. “He was alone and he is fine,” she said last night.

Muhammad-Haroon was held overnight and is scheduled to appear in court today at 10 a.m.

Last night as the news spread, community members were relieved but angry and upset. “I’m glad he is safe but shocked that he could have done this,” said Yahya Qureshi, principal of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto where Muhammad-Haroon studied.

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