Reza Mohammad Tehrani-Cohen was abducted outside the Aviron Technical Institute in Montreal on Monday.

Police are asking for the public's help in locating a 53-year-old businessman who was abducted in Montreal's Town of Mount Royal neighbourhood Monday evening.

Reza Mohammad Tehrani-Cohen was leaving work at 5:45 p.m. ET, was kidnapped by two or three men in a beige Jeep Liberty, plate number FGM 1044, said Const. Olivier Lapointe.

"The good thing is that we have a good witness. Someone who saw what happened and was able to get the licence plate of the truck," said Lapointe.

The witness even managed to follow the Jeep Liberty several dozen kilometres to east-end Montreal before losing track of the vehicle, which investigators have determined was stolen.

Tehrani-Cohen is five feet eight inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He has greying hair and brown eyes.

Police are saying little more about the victim except to confirm he's known to police. The motive for the kidnapping of the married father who lives in the city of Côte St. Luc, Que., is still not clear.

"He's a businessman…. we're trying to get an explanation of why someone would want to abduct him," said Lapointe.

"A lot of people are asking us … if there were some calls … on the side of the family asking for ransom … that's not the case."

Victim facing several lawsuits

CBC has obtained court documents showing Tehrani-Cohen is currently facing four counts of fraud resulting from an RCMP investigation.

About two dozen lawsuits have also been launched against him in civil court seeking judgments ranging from $10,000 to more than $100,000.

In one court document, where he is simply referred to as Reza Tehrani, Quebec Superior Court Judge André Wery writes in his analysis: "To say that Tehrani is less than candid is an understatement."

Wery referred to a previous court judgment where another judge made a similar observation about Tehrani's "lack of credibility" as a witness.

In her judgment of June 14, 2000, Justice Anne-Marie Trahan writes Tehrani's attitude and demeanour "lead the court not to believe his testimony."

She also notes, "when it was not to his advantage to answer, he forgot or he did not remember."

Students and employees shocked

On Tuesday, outside the Aviron Technical Institute, the trade school police say is owned by Tehrani-Cohen, employees and students said they were having trouble digesting news of the kidnapping.

"It's kind of a shock, eh?" said Michel Arbour, who teaches courses to would-be electricians. "It's my boss you know, and kidnapping? You don't see that too often around. Especially a man like him, he's a big businessman you know?"

Michelle Frigon, who looks after the financial books at Aviron, fought back tears as she talked about her boss. "[He's] a nice guy and I cannot imagine what happened ... I know him as a good guy."

Matthieu Barbeau, who is studying at the trade school, said his mother told him about the kidnapping after hearing about it on the radio Tuesday morning.

On a break form classes, Barbeau told CBC News he wasn't surprised because "people that drive fancy cars, and stuff like that, they do draw attention to themselves."

In December 2008, former students at Aviron sued the trade school claiming it did not honour its teaching contract. The students and Aviron reached an agreement in a class-action lawsuit the following year.