Thursday, March 30, 2006

EOW seeks Board audit notes

Jagmohan Dalmiya

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: Sleuths attached to the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) have asked the cricket Board’s audit firm — the Billimoria Chartered Accountancy — to furnish its audited papers so that it could be crosschecked with the statements made by Jagmohan Dalmiya.

The former cricket Board president and three others have been accused of misappropriation of Rs
21.74 lakh and criminal breach of trust. Board secretary Niranjan Shah lodged a complaint with the police on March 16.

The investigation will also include the verification of chalans produced by several employees of the BCCI to show the expenditure and taking money from the BCCI a/c.

“Dalmiya’s personal secre
tary, Kishan Choudhary, has also been asked to give justification about the expenditures. He was made one of the signatories on behalf of Dalmiya,’’ an officer said.

Dalmiya was grilled for six hours on Wednesday on expen
ditures on hotels, lodging, boarding, telephone bills, air travels etc. It is learnt that he left the EOW office at 4 pm to catch a flight for Kolkata. The former cricket supremo has now faced more than 21 hours of questioning over the last three days.

The statements recorded by the police was being transferred into computers. The policemen refused to divulge information about crores of rupees transferred from Pilcom’s London a/c to BCCI’s Kolkata a/c.

Dalmiya said he justify everything on March 31 when he returns from Kolkata. The three who have been named in the FIR, former Board secretary S K Nair, Jyoti Bajpai and former treasurer Kishore Rungta, said they were unaware whether the expenses were sanctioned by the finance committee.

The Times of India, March 30, 2006

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dalmiya faces Pilcom heat, asked to explain use of Rs 17 cr

Jagmohan Dalmiya

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: Investigations into the misappropriation of funds charges against former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya took a new twist on Tuesday when he was grilled for eight hours for just the Pilcom account and the use of Rs 17 crore in India.

The investigators, who refused to divulge any information, is learnt to have asked ‘probing questions’ to Dalmiya who came to the economic offences wing (EOW) office for the second consecutive day. Dalmiya, who faced the EOW officers for over seven hours on Monday, avoided any direct comments on the investigation. “The policemen are doing their job and the matter is subjudice,’’ he said.

When asked if he was being framed or there was a conspiracy against him, Dalmiya offered no
comments. The former cricket supremo is expected to come to the EOW office again on Wednesday.

The probe, police sources said, was now moving towards the use of Rs 17 crore which were transferred from Pilcom’s Citibank account in London to the World Cup account (number 1223) at the Indian Overseas Bank (Kolkata). Before the 1996 World Cup, a joint account (Pilcom) was created and Dalmiya, then BCCI secretary, was nominated convener-secretary. The Board then formed Indcom to oversee the matches in India. Its Kolkata account was operated by Dalmiya, and according to the FIR, he had misused funds for his hotel, boarding, lodging and telephone bills.

“We just want to know how the Rs 17 crore was used. We have asked Dalmiya to give details about the expenses—whether
they were sanctioned by the finance committee, working committee and if the expenses were declared in the annual general meeting of the Board,’’ a police source said. Dalmiya is believed to have said he would produce all the documents concerning the investigation. Dalmiya also told the investigators that he withdrew money on behalf of the BCCI and spent it “legally’’.

The police also want Dalmiya to explain his powers as a former
BCCI chief. “We are investigating about the total money that was transferred from Pilcom to Indian Overseas Bank and how it was used. Our investigation is not just limited to the FIR but the area of probe is expanding gradually,’’ a police source said.

The police had also questioned former Board secretaries S K Nair, Jyoti Bajpai and former treasurer Kishore Rungta about the total money generated during the 1996 World Cup through selling of telecast rights, advertisements etc. The trio too are accused of misappropriation of funds, breach of trust, cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and breach of trust.

“We still don’t know how much money was generated and deposited in the Pilcom account by the BCCI. Though the investigation began with misappropriation of funds, we have to inquire about everything for a fair inves
tigation,’’ the police sources said.

A police team is likely to leave for Kolkata on Friday morning to probe the Indian Overseas Bank account.

Dalmiya’s friend, who accompanied him to the EOW office, said he had done a lot for the Board. “The Board accounts were audited by well-known chartered accountancy firm, Fergusson and Company, and it has all the proof that there was no misappropriation. Dalmiya had even fought for the reduction of taxes on the Board and brought it down to Rs 4 crore from Rs 86 crore,’’ the friend, who did not want to be identified, said.

K L Bishnoi, ACP (EOW), said, “The investigation is at a crucial stage and we are going in the right direction. I don’t want to say anything about the probe right now.’’

The Times of India, March 29, 2006

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Dalmiya, Rungta grilled for over 7 hrs

Jagmohan Dalmiya emerges from police headquarters after being questioned in connection with a case of misappropriation of funds amounting to Rs 21.74 lakh related to the 1996 World Cup

Former Says He Can Furnish Documents To Refute Charges of Misappropriation

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: The economic offences wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police grilled former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya and former treasurer Kishore Rungta for over seven hours on Monday in a case involving misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 21.74 lakh.
Dalmiya, who was grilled by a group of five officials, avoided the media later. “The matter is subjudice. I cannot comment right now,’’ was all he said.

Earlier, Dalmiya arrived at the police headquarters near Crawford Market at 11 am in a grey Mercedes. Dodging waiting mediapersons, he headed for the EOW’s office on the second floor. Later, he was brought to the first floor where he was questioned behind closed doors. Though EOW officials prepared 35 questions based on the FIR, Dalmiya finally answered around 80, officials said.

Niranjan Shah, the BCCI secretary, had on March 17 filed a complaint with the Marine Drive police station accusing Dalmiya and four others of misusing BCCI funds since 1996. The case was transferred to the EOW on March 21. Former board secretary S K Nair, Jyoti Bajpai and Rungta are the other three charged in the FIR. They have been accused of criminal breach of trust (section 406), cheating (section 420), forgery (section 467), criminal conspiracy (section 120-b)) and breach of trust (section 408).

Speaking to TOI, an investigators said an World Cup account (number 1223) was opened with the Indian Overseas Bank (Kolkata branch) in 1995. However, no proper details were furnished on how Rs 21.74
lakh was used from it. Dalmiya was the cheque-signing authority for the account.

“We asked Dalmiya how the Rs 21.74 lakh was used. He said at least 64 cases were pending against BCCI in various courts and tribunals over non-payment of taxes. According to him, the money was spent on transportation, paper work, legal fees and expenses for meetings among other things. Dalmiya added he had not misused the funds and most of the money went towards legal expenses,’’ an official said.

The police asked Dalmiya to pro
duce documents relating to all transactions that had taken place through the account from 1996 to date. “We also questioned Dalmiya as to why he didn’t hand over the account to the current BCCI body. As per our information, he closed the account on February 4 this year,’’ an officer said.

Dalmiya reportedly could not answer why he operated the account between September 2005 and February 4 and then closed it. According to police sources, though the question threw him, Dalmiya continued answering other queries. While po
lice sources said they suspected that someone else operated the account after Dalmiya’s ouster from the BCCI, they were not willing to reveal anything else at this stage.

On asked whether the BCCI finance committee cleared the expenses claimed by him, Dalmiya reportedly said he had acted legally and would provide all the documents concerned. The EOW also asked the Indian Overseas Bank to provide the statements of transactions of the account.

The EOW also wanted to know the source of funds in the account.

Commenting on the issue, K L Bishnoi, additional commissioner of police (EOW) said, “Our investigations are going in the right direction. We are getting satisfactory results.’’

While all the officials named in the FIR were present at the EOW office, only Dalmiya and Rungta were called for questioning on Monday. No lawyers were allowed during the interrogation. It’s learnt that Nair, Bajpai and Kishan Chaudhary (Dalmiya’s personal secretary) and the branch manager of Indian Overseas Bank’s Kolkata branch will be called for questioning over the next couple of days.

In 1996, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka hosted the cricket World Cup. A joint committee called Pilcom was created and Dalmiya, then BCCI secretary, was nominated convener-secretary.

The Pilcom account was opened in a London bank. BCCI then formed Indcom to oversee the matches in India. Its Kolkata account was operated by Dalmiya, and according to the FIR, he had misused funds for his hotel, boarding, lodging and telephone bills.

The Times of India, March 28, 2006

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Where have they gone?

Mystery Cities|An increasing number of disappearances are being reported from cities. Why are smart, happy men and women going missing?

Viju B and Rucha Biju Chitrodia report

Twenty-seven-year-old Denny Vellore John lifted his hand and made a sign with his fingers. His friends guessed that he wanted to smoke, as they watched him get up from his seat and make his way out of Neelkamal restaurant in Belapur, Navi Mumbai. They haven’t seen him since he walked out of the door into the cold night of December 31, 2004.

“It was New Year’s eve and we had decided to have a small party at the bar,” recalls 26-year-old Anil, one of the seven friends who were partying with him. After drinks, they decided to head to the restaurant for the ill-fated dinner. When Denny did not return from his smoke, a long search began.

Denny, a computer graduate, was a regular upper-middle-class guy. According to his friends and family, he was quiet, obedient and non-obtrusive. He was new to Mumbai and had reached the city only in September 2004 from
Dubai, where he had hunted for a job for six months. In vain.

A day after he went missing, his parents Leelamma, 54, and John, 59, rushed from Kottayam and searched Mumbai. They filed a missing complaint at the local police station and put up his photographs in newspapers. Then began the most traumatic phase for any parent. They did the rounds of all possible police stations, hospitals and morgues for three months, till March 31, 2005. The only information they found about him was by omission — his bank account and credit cards were untouched. What happened to Denny that night is between him and his fate.

He is a part of statistics now. Of sudden mysterious disappearances. Another white-collared individual who was supposed to be back in 10 minutes has vanished. Two or three such cases are reported every month. Far greater number of slumdwellers go missing but, according to Amitabh Gupta,
deputy commissioner of police, 90% of the missing are found. Of the 11,876 who disappeared in Mumbai in 2005, 9,440 were traced or returned home.

Cases like Denny are disturbing because they do not fit the regular pattern of disappearances. There is no bank or credit card transaction, a relieving ransom call, or a body to be identified.

“In many of the cases, we don’t have any clue,” a senior police officer says, who insists that only very few disappearances are crime-related, like kidna
ppings. Most are due to personal and family frustrations. But you can never tell. All cases look alike.

Piyush Sharma, 27, has been missing for more than two months now. He was a software programmer with Pune’s Cybage Software, and used to travel from Pune every weekend to Mumbai, where his family lived. On January
28 this year, like any other weekend, he took the by-now infamous Mumbai-Pune expressway in his Maruti Esteem. Recently the body of one Infosys project manager, Vikram Poddar, was found in a ditch at Pen along the same route. Piyush too did not reach Mumbai.

``Usually he would start early in the morning on Saturday and reach in time for breakfast,” recounts B Kumar, his father-in-law. But that day, he left at around five in the evening. That he started out in the evening is curious in itself.

In many such cases, there are no good answers to what could have happened. If it was a robbery case, what exactly was taken from the seeming victims and if they have been killed, why
their remains cannot be found.

Twenty-seven-year-old Jayan Pillai had got married in January this year. A tiff with his boss made him quit as assistant manager of a top bank in Mumbai. After which, he went to live with his parents in Pune. One day, he left home wearing trackpants and a T-shirt to see his colony’s water tank being emptied for cleaning. He apparently wanted to see the gush of the water. At around three in the afternoon, he called up his wife from a telephone booth saying, “I
don’t have money. I was asked to get off the bus by the conductor. I don’t know where I am”. They have not heard from him again. His father Krishnakutty does not understand how that could have happened to his healthy, footballer son.

It is possible that family and friends do not reveal the complete picture
of the missing person. And that greatly adds to the mystery. There have been cases where a person has vanished just to have a good time. In 2004, when the 20-something grandson of governor of Maharashtra Mohammed Fazal went missing, more than 2,000 policemen were deployed to trace him. He was found in south Mumbai in less than eight hours after the filing of the complaint. He was with his friends and in good spirits. Perhaps if such a huge force could be deployed in every case, something may invariably turn up. But not everybody is a governor. TNN
(Inputs by Mateen Hafeez and Baiju Kalesh)

Denny went out for a smoke and never returned

The Times of India, March 26, 2006

Friday, March 24, 2006

Arab couple held for ‘indecent’ act, deported

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: This Arab couple kissed India goodbye. On Tuesday, the police charged a Moroccan woman and her male UAE partner for indecent behaviour in a public place, and then, on discovering that the woman’s visa had lapsed, promptly deported both of them.

Ibtisay Lamyani, 27, and Alfasar Nasir Abdul Hussain Ali, 37, were visiting India separately and had met at the Gateway of India.

They were necking near the Metro cinema junction on Tuesday afternoon when a woman constable from Azad Maidan police station decided to intervene. She warned them against indecent behaviour in a public place.

When they argued back, she demanded they show their passports. As luck would have it Lamyani’s visa had expired.

Now that legal transgress backed moral out
rage, the couple was marched off to the Azad Maidan police station.

Not chastened in the least, they promptly got into a clinch again.
The police booked both under section 110 of the Bombay Police Act for indecent behaviour in a public place; Lamyani was also booked for overstaying in India (section 14 (1) of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and section 7 (3) (iii) of the Foreigners Order, 1948).

The police then submitted a chargesheet to the court which convicted Lamyani to a day’s imprisonment. She was released on Wednesday and made to pay a fine of Rs 5,000.
Ali was also fined. They were both deported to their respective countries on the same night.
“Their files have been forwarded to the look-out cell and the immigration cell so that they cannot come to India again in future,’’ a police officer said.

The Times of India, March 24, 2006

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Kasliwal in judicial custody till April 3

Rape accused Abhishek Kasliwal will now be shifted to Arthur Road Jail

Identification Parade To Be Held Today

Mumbai: After 10 days in a police lock-up, Abhishek Kasliwal will now be shifted to Arthur Road jail. A metropolitan court on Tuesday sent Abhishek, who has been accused of raping a 52-year-old woman, to judicial custody until April 3. The 27-year-old son of Shree Ram Mills owner is alleged to have assaulted and raped the woman in the wee hours of March 12 in the mill compound at Worli after offering her a lift in the Kala Ghoda precinct. The victim had told the police that she had come to Mumbai from Vishakhapatnam in September 2005 to look for a job.

Abhishek, who appeared in court wearing a white shirt and blue jeans, replied to the magistrate’s queries calmly. When he was asked his name, he replied “Abhishek”. When the magistrate inquired if he had been harassed in police custody, he said “no”.

The magistrate then asked public prosecutor Dileep Mohite to start the proceedings. Mohite immediately sought judicial custody for Kasliwal. He also clarified that Kasliwal had spent only 10 out of the specified 14 days in police custody and that the prosecution reserved its rights to ask for the remaining four days of police cus
tody. Abhishek’s lawyers did not oppose the prosecution’s plea. The request to shift him to a prison was granted. The prosecutor informed the court that the police would conduct an identification parade in jail on Wednesday when
Kasliwal would be paraded before three witnesses. The court was told by Mohite that reports on brain mapping and polygraph tests conducted on Abhishek at a laboratory in Bangalore were still awaited by the prosecution.

‘Why Did Abhishek Take Woman To The Mill?’

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: Abhishek Kasliwal’s defence is built on the argument that his car had hit the woman and he had therefore offered to drop her off somewhere. Worli police have tried to

nail him on the rape charge by using this very statement: “If the woman was hit by your car, then why did you take her to Shree Ram Mills and not a nearby hospital?’’
Till now, the police have grilled Abhishek on the basis of statements
given by the victim and the watchmen of Shree Ram Mills, Santosh Akaram Tawde and Nagraj Gutt.

According to Abhishek’s statement to the police, the injury on the woman’s arms was caused by his car, following which he offered her a lift. She told him she wanted to go to Mumbai Central. On reaching there, she said she wanted to go to the suburbs and began screaming. He said he tried to console her repeatedly and offered her white rum mixed with Coke. She drank some but started to cry again. He, therefore, drove his car to the mill compound and tried to console her again, but was unsuccessful. Then, he drove back to Colaba and dropped her off near the museum. Here, he said she demanded money and tried to blackmail him. So, he left her and sped away.

The police have grilled Abhishek on why he didn’t take the victim to a hospital. Abhishek’s version was compared with what the woman told the police in the FIR. According to her, she had asked Abhishek for money for medication and treatment, but he refused. Abhishek was questioned by a team, including senior inspector Ramakant Dhole, assistant inspector Chandrakant More, for six hours. “Whatever Abhishek said was not convincing. He didn’t have answer as to why he took the victim to Worli,’’ said police commissioner A N Roy.

The Times of India, March 22, 2006

Friday, March 17, 2006

What Kasliwal ‘victim’ told police

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

The 52-year-old who’s hit the headlines for accusing a scion of S Kumar’s and Shree Ram Mills, Abhishek Kasliwal, of rape has told the police that she was more or less living on the streets of Mumbai for the last few months, supported by friends who paid for her meals. On the fateful Saturday last week, she was waiting for a friend who worked as a steward in a hotel in Colaba when Abhishek’s car drove up. The following is her statement to the police.

‘Ihave been staying with my friend Jennifer (50) at Daffodil Apartments, Naigaon, for the last six days. My husband Edward died last March while on a ship in Belgium. My native place is Visakhapatnam. After my husband’s death I was not mentally stable, and turned to chainsmoking and drinking.

Later, I went to Kolkata and stayed with friends for a while. I came to Mumbai in September 2005 and stayed for a few days at a hotel in Mumbai Central. From Mumbai Central, I went to Goa
for a few days. When I returned to the city, I began living on a ground opposite Churchgate station and used to loiter around Gateway of India and Chowpatty at night. I took care of my expenses from the money that Jennifer and Stephanie gave me. Two weeks ago I went to the Sports Bar at Colaba to drink beer. That’s where I met Francis (30), a steward, who lived at Malad. We met at the bus stop outside the museum early one morning and took the same bus to Churchgate. From there we took the local train to our respective places.

On March 10, I reached Colaba around 8.30 pm, spent time at the Gateway of India, and finally at 2.30 am, was standing opposite the museum waiting for Francis at the bus stop. I did not know what the exact time was, so I went up to David Sassoon Library, which has a clock on the top of the building. That’s when a big black car came up to me and the person sitting inside asked me where I was going. I told him I was going to Mumbai Central. He offered me a lift. When I asked about him, he said his name was Vicky Malhotra and he had just come from Insomnia Pub and was also going to Mumbai Central.

I was going to go to Mumbai Central by bus, but I thought I would reach early if I went by car. So I willingly sat on the front seat beside Vicky. Then Vicky asked about me. He was drinking something from a Bisleri bottle. He told me it was white rum mixed with Coke. He offered the bottle to me. I drank
around two pegs. By then we had reached some unfamiliar place. In front of us was a big gate with ‘Gate No 3’ written on it.

I’ll identify him if he’s brought before me: Kasliwal victim

The watchman opened the gate and the car entered the compound. That’s when I realised that we were not at Mumbai Central. When I asked Vicky where we were, he told me we were at Worli. I could see a wall and a godown-type structure nearby.

Then he began to force himself on me. I resisted, but he pinned my right hand down on the seat on which I was sitting. He pushed back the seat and forced me down. He forcibly removed my clothes. When I tried to resist he hit me. After he hit me repeatedly for some time, I was too weak to resist. He removed his clothes and raped me. That’s when I began screaming for help. Since the car doors were shut, my voice could not be heard outside. He raped me four times. He then offered me the liquor bottle once more.

Afterwards, we both put our clothes back on. He started the car, the watchman opened the gate and Vicky drove me back to Colaba. He stopped the car outside a hotel. When I asked him for some money for medication, he refused and asked me to get out of the car. I told him that I would not get out without the money. He then got out of the car, opened my door, pulled me out of the car (MH-04 RI 604).

I was experiencing terrible pain so I headed towards GT Hospital. On the way, I met an acquaintance called Lauren. It was 8 am at the time. I narrated the entire incident
to him and he took me to GT Hospital. He told the doctors what had happened. The doctor examined me and said I had fractured my hand. That’s when the police came. I was taken to MRA Marg Police Station and then to Colaba.

The name of the person who raped me is Vicky Malhotra and I will identify him if he is brought before me. He is between 26 and 28 years old. He was wearing blue jeans, a black t-shirt and was speaking in English. TNN

Magistrate hears woman’s statement
Mumbai: In an effort to bolster the prosecution’s case, the statement of the 52-year-old victim, who was allegedly raped by Abhishek Kasliwal, has been recorded before a magistrate.

Zonal deputy commissioner of police Santosh Rastogi confirmed the woman had been produced before a magistrate to corroborate the sequence of events mentioned in the complaint that was filed hours after the rape allegedly took place inside the Shree Ram Mills compound at Worli on Saturday. The statement
could be damning for the accused if the victim’s version remains the same as the one in the original FIR.

“Her statement was recorded by a magistrate and she narrated her entire story. I will not disclose more about the witnesses and the statements given by them,’’ Rastogi said.

The Worli police on March 12 arrested Abhishek, son of industrialist Ambuj Kasliwal, on charges of assaulting and raping the woman after offering her a lift at Kala Ghoda. He has been booked under sections 325 (grievous hurt) and 375 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code. He will remain in police custody till March 17. The police is also likely to record the statements of two friends of the accused in this case, sources said.

Meanwhile, a group of BJP workers gathered outside the Shree Ram Mills compound on Thursday and protested against the alleged rape by Abhishek. The protesters said that the police was trying to hush up the matter and demanded a thorough inquiry. TNN

The Times of India, March 17, 2006

Thursday, March 16, 2006

More trouble for Kasliwal scion

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: The Worli police on Wednesday are believed to have recorded the statement of another woman who alleged that Abhishek Kasliwal and two of his friends raped her on the Mumbai-Pune expressway three weeks ago. This woman is said be a call centre employee in her mid-twenties. However, the police refused to confirm or deny this.

“We will not disclose anything about our wit
nesses,’’ said zonal deputy police commissioner Santosh Rastogi.

“This is clearly an attempt to malign Abhishek’s character and appears to be completely fabricated,’’ said Abhishek’s father, Ambuj Kasliwal. “We have nothing else to
say in this matter as the police are carrying out their investigation and we are fully cooperating with them,’’ he added.

Meanwhile, the Worli police are likely to conduct a lie-detector test on
Abhishek, scion of the Kasliwal family which owns Shree Ram Mills, who was arrested on charges of raping a 52-year-old woman in his Mercedes car in the early morning hours on Saturday. “The option to conduct a lie-detector test is open to us. We may ask the court to grant permission for the test,’’ joint police commissioner (law and order) Arup Patnaik said on Wednesday.

The investigators have also traced the clothes the accused had worn at the time of the incident.

Clothes sent to forensic lab

Mumbai: The clothes Abhishek Kasliwal was wearing at the time when he allegedly raped at 52-year-old woman on Saturday have been sent to a forensic lab, said zonal deputy police commissioner Santosh Rastogi. He said the victim was from a good family and refuted allegations that she was either a commercial sex worker or worked in a bar.

The police also spoke to her relatives in Visakhapatnam. “She told us in her FIR that she was waiting for a friend outside the Prince of Wales museum on Friday when Abhishek offered her a lift,’’ Rastogi said.

However, the police is still to record the statement of the friend for whom the victim was said to be waiting. “We will record his statement, corroborate all the facts. As of now, we are relying on the victim’s statement,’’ said an officer.

Statements of at least ten persons have been recorded so far, including the victim, her friends Stephanie Jordan (45) and Dilip Shetty (20), and the two watchmen at Shree Ram Mills, Santosh Tawde and Nagraj Gutt. The watchmen’s statements may be re-recorded.

The police on Wednesday once again recorded the statement of Jordan and Shetty.

The Times of India, March 16, 2006

64-yr-old arrested for Rs 1.8-cr fraud

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: A 64-year-old man, Santosh Kumar Jain, has been arrested for cheating a finance firm of Rs 1.82 crore by producing fake invoices in the name of three companies in Mumbai.

The police said Jain, managing director of Alka International Ltd, an Aligarh-based firm which manufactures plastic products forged invoices using the letterheads of three companies.

He then contacted Global Trade Finance at Bandra-Kurla
Complex, and displayed transactions with several companies

“The invoices showed a transaction of Rs 1.82-cr. He got Global Trade to lend him the amount,’’ said investigating officer Bapurao Mhadik. Jain has been sent to police custody till March 22.

The Times of India, March 16, 2006

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Agent held for duping bank of Rs 37 lakh

Bharat Sevak

Used Bogus Papers For Car Loans To Siphon Money


Mumbai: An agent, who helped loan seekers procure loans to buy second-hand vehicles, has been arrested by the economic offences wing (EOW) for duping ICICI Bank of Rs 37 lakh.

The accused, Bharat Sevak (42), an MBA from Sydenham College in Mumbai, had worked as a direct selling agent (DSA) for the bank since 2002. He ran a
firm called Mahalaxmi Enterprises, which would arrange finance to purchase vehicles.

Recently, it was discovered that he had submitted bogus documents and created fake identities to acquire
auto loans from ICICI Bank. The bank had transferred the loans to his agency’s account assuming he would pass it on to the eventual buyers of the vehicles.

However, it was found that there were no such buyers. The
money was being siphoned off by the agent himself.

Sevak was also into export of iron, zinc, steel, etc. He would source raw material from the Gulf and after processing, export it
to China and the Middle East. He was planning to leave for Dubai to bag another export contract when he was arrested.

The investigating officer, sub-inspector Sunil Kadam, said Sevak had been in the
auto finance business for four years. He had bagged nearly 30 genuine clients seeking car loans for ICICI.

In this case though, Sevak informed the bank that he had four clients who wanted to buy second-hand vehicles. ICICI Bank then transferred Rs 37 lakh to his firm’s account.

Investigations later revealed that Sevak had furnished bogus documents relating to the transfer of vehicle ownership rights. The bank found there were no sellers or buyers involved in the deal, and then approached the police to lodge a cheating complaint.

Sevak is also wanted in a 2004 fraud case where he, along with an accomplice, had cheated GMAC Finance Service located in Andheri. In that case too, he had provided bogus documents and obtained lakhs of rupees from the finance company.

The Times of India, March 14, 2006

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Roy rules out grilling Mhetre

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: The city police on Friday ruled out the possibility of recording the statement of minister of state for home Siddharam Mhetre whose name has cropped up in the tapped telephonic conversations between jailed gangster D K Rao and his mentor, don Chhota Rajan.

Police commissioner A N Roy said, “Two accused (Rao and Rajan) referring to someone (Mhetre) by name does not mean we will question everyone mentioned by the accused. We are not inquiring into their allegations.’’

Top cops refuse to comment on tapes
Mumbai: The tapes in which Mhetre’s name is mentioned was submitted to the MCOCA court. In it, D K Rao said he had paid Rs 2.5 crore to Mhetre to reinstate 12 jail officials who were suspended after the September 2003 murder of gangster O P Singh at the Nashik jail. They were reinstated by the state government despite a departmental inquiry holding them guilty of deciding to shift 40 inmates, including Singh, from Arthur Road jail to Nashik without consulting then DIG (prisons), Ashok Kinnenge.

While K V Mahure, who was superintendent at Arthur Road jail, was reinstated in Nashik jail after a favourable order from the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) in five months, 11 others were reinstated and transferred to various jails in the state following an order from the state government.

However, not a single prison official was ready to talk. “Please ask the home department. I don’t want to comment,’’ S B Savarkar, IG prison said.

Singh, a former Chhota
Rajan henchman, was arrested in an extortion case and lodged in Arthur Road jail. In September 2003, four jail officials, K V Mahure (superintendent), Sharad Shirke (jailer), Bhat (jailer) and Raju Ahire (clerk) proceeded to shift them to Nashik jail without official consent. The reason cited was that the Arthur Road jail was overcrowded. Singh was found dead in the Nashik jail two days later.

The jail officials stated the cause of death as ‘heart attack’ but the post mortem report stated the cause of death as ‘strangulation’.

Singh’s wife, Meenakshi, who approached the National Human Rights Commission had alleged that her husband’s murder was pre-planned and that the jail officials were hand in glove with those who killed Singh.

Eight officials from the Nashik jail who were also suspended approached the MAT and were later reinstated by the state government. Jailer Shirke was reinstated in the Chandrapur jail, Bhat was sent to the Amravati jail and Ahire is currently posted in Paithan jail (central region).

The Times of India, March 11, 2006

Hi-tech mall in store for policemen at Naigaum

First Of Its Kind To Be Set Up In City, It Will Help Kin Of Cops Access Amenities Under One Roof

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: The 5,000-odd policemen of the local arms division of the city police along with around 4,000 families will soon have a well-equipped modernised departmental store—first of its kind to be set up by police personnel.

The construction of the twostorey departmental store, which is to cost Rs 3 crore, will start next week at Naigaum police headquarters at Dadar.

The facility of a departmental store for police personnel and their families was available for long in Pune, Bangalore, New Delhi etc. However, the Mumbai police did not have a store where their family members could access all amenities under one roof. The expenditure for the project is to come from the Police Welfare
Fund, to which all, be it a constable or a commissioner of police contributes.

Said the police chief A N Roy, “A visit to the Naigaon police headquarters, and you can see thousands of policemen having tea or snacks on the road. Once the police welfare complex is constructed, the nearly 4,000 police families staying at Naigaum police quarters won’t have to go outside the area for amenities. Moreover, the store will offer concessional rates.’’

In 2001, a gymnasium for policemen was constructed at a cost of Rs 2 crore at Marine Lines. However, a number of policemen do not go there because “they do not have the time’’.

“The decision to construct the welfare complex at Naigaum was taken in view to provide facilities
to the families staying in the vicinity,’’ added the police chief.

Apart from the usual amenities like chemist shop, grocery store,
STD booth, cafeteria, wedding hall etc., the departmental store will house a tailoring shop, where the wives and daughters of policemen can undertake the task of stitching uniforms for the force’s men. Till the early 90s, the police uniforms were being tailored by convicts and the undertrials. This has stopped since the last one decade, during when a number of policemen’s wives and their daughters have taken up this role.

“The departmental store is to have a small hall, equipped with machines, for such women. At present, they work from a temporary shed,’’ a police officer said.

A fully air-conditioned computerised centre is also in the plan. “The aim is to impart computer education to children of the policemen so that they get jobs while studying,’’ an officer said.

Moreover, children of police personnel who died while on duty will be employed in the departmental store.

The Times of India, Marach 11, 2006

Friday, March 10, 2006

Builders under scanner for Rajan links

Sujata Nikhalje

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: The crime branch of the M u m b a i police is probing the role of at least seven to eight p ro p e r t y developers who allegedly knew about underworld don Chhota Rajan’s extortion activities related to Mhada land over the last five years.

Two builders under the scanner are based in the western suburbs. The police say the investigation is at a crucial stage and they are likely to call the builders for questioning. “We want to know what was Rajan’s interest in their
properties. We have information that Rajan had called up some builders either to ask them to give up a project or take up some. If they were threatened by the gangster, why didn’t they register a complaint?’’ an officer said.

Sources said the Rajan gang has been crippled since its top members including O P Singh, Balu Dokre and Rohit Verma have been killed, and Vicky Malhotra and other extortionists are behind bars. The killing of extortionists from the gang in encounters forced the gangster to focus on the construction industry.

The crime branch, in December, arrested Rajan’s wife Sujata (42), his elder brother Prakash Nikhalje (55), chartered accountant Bharat Dudani (51) and
three others in a Rs 20 lakh extortion case. The complaint in this case was made in January 2004 and was finally converted into an FIR after 22 months. All the accused were booked under MCOCA.

An officer said 40 years ago Mhada constructed 120 buildings and sold it to needy people at reasonable rates. After 35 years, when the tenants approached Mhada to repair their dilapidated buildings, the authority asked private builders to repair or reconstruct residential towers, and that, in turn, the developers would be given additional construction rights for their private construction.

Sources said, in 2000, two builders who wanted to reconstruct a building in Tilak Nagar approached Chhota
Rajan who asked one of the builders to step aside. Later, Rajan realised that the real estate business was profitable and fielded his own men in the construction business.

He started his own company in his youngest daughter Khushi’s name. Sujata was appointed director of Khushi Developers. The investigators said they have come across two eightstorey buildings wherein Khushi developers were involved and have around 10 accounts in different banks, police sources said.

“We have come to know about the amount paid to the architects as token money and another Rs 2.5 crore earned through illegal means under the banner of Khushi developers,’’ said an officer.

The Times of India, March 10, 2006