Monday, April 30, 2012

Slumdwellers’ papers ‘aided’ 13/7 conspirators

Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Mumbai: Investigators wrapping up the 13/7 blasts probe say the group which provided SIM cards to conspirators and Pakistani bombers had collected papers for procuring cards from slumdwellers. 

    They got the papers from slumdwellers, promising them ‘‘good schemes and offers’’ on talk-time.  Three bombs had exploded in Dadar, at Opera House and Zaveri Bazar, killing 27 and injuring scores. The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) has arrested four persons in the case.
    The breakthrough came through a stolen bike and police later zeroed in on suspects while probing a fake card racket. The ATS seized over 15,000 forged papers to be used to procure more SIM cards.
    “We had registered a case of procuring SIM cards on fake papers last December. We arrested 17 persons for involvement. Few of the accused from the group had provided SIM cards to the 13/7 suspects. One of the accused, Naqi Ahmed, who has also been booked for the blast cases, provided SIM cards to the blast suspects. He had taken 50 SIM cards and 18 of them were used by the two Pakistani bombers. The remaining cards were used by him and Yasin Bhatkal, a top commander of the banned Indian Mujahideen (IM),” an ATS officer said.
    Police said the accused changed their cards so often, it was difficult to trace those contacted through the phones. “In most cases, Ahmed did not remember the numbers so it’s difficult to get call data records of these phones,” the officer said, adding that Ahmed gave Bhatkal all the SIM cards.
    The police have sent all the seized handsets and cards to the Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for analysis. “Once we get a detailed report from the lab, we will file a chargesheet in the blast cases,” the officer said. Police said that Ahmed’s relative, who had a SIM card shop, had provided him all the cards. “But we have not booked him only in the fake card case,” the officer said.
    Those arrested for the SIM card case include a key retailer an executive, a distributor, a salesman and the territory manager of private service prov iders. Such rackets are still active in Fort, Kalbadevi, Dongri, Parel, Bhoiwada, Kurla, Antop Hill, Goregaon, Vikhroli and Andheri.
17 accused and their roles in fake docus case
19 phones, 114 SIM cards, pen drive, laptop recovered

Qamar-e-Aalam (19)
BTech student Used fake SIM card
Abdul Wahab (25)
Engineering student Used fake SIM card
N A Khan (22)
BTech student in Pune Used fake SIM card
Aadil Khan (32)
Electrical fabricating mechanic Used fake documents for SIM card
Naqi Ahmed (22)
Passed XII Procured 50 fake SIM cards for his module
Nadeem Akhtar (23)
SYBCom student Helped many of the 13/7 blast conspirators get SIM cards

Mumtaz Khan (29)
Mobile shop-owner Provided fake SIM cards to others
Ganesh Tikole (39)
Service provider agent Arranged for forged documents
Shivkumar Hanumanta (29)
Had 3,000 fake documents
M K Kesarval (20)
SIM card-seller Made fake stamp of mobile shop
Mazhar Hasan (33)
SIM card-seller Made fake stamp of mobile shop
Balraj Kammu (29)
Service provider territory manager
Arranged fake documents for cards
R B Gurba (23)
Arranged fake papers; 180 such papers seized
A H Wasim (21)
Service provider salesman 200 fake papers seized, 15 cards
B Chaurasia (29)
Sold each set of papers for Rs 2-5; 50 SIM cards, 500 papers seized
Rakesh Singh (24)
Service provider distributor Got fake papers
A Pathak (26)
Retail executive of service provider Got forged papers

    In July 2011, Bhiwandi cops arrested Anwar Bablu (33) for selling SIM cards for national and international calls for six months before his arrest. Police said cards were sold on fake papers. One lakh cards were seized but he is out on bail 

    In January, the city crime branch busted a bogus SIM card racket and found 4,931 cards issued on forged papers. The cards belonged to almost all service providers. The accused would buy forged
papers for Rs 5 each
In March, crime branch arrested three persons and seized 379 fake SIM cards and 550 forged documents. One of the accused, Aslam Shaikh, was area territory manager of a provider
In April, crime branch arrested three persons and seized 340 SIM cards, 1,005 fake documents and 60 photos. One of the accused, Krishna Kharade, was a service provider’s salesman 
The Times of India, April 30, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Chargesheet against mktg co for ‘duping’ investors


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has filed a chargesheet against multi-level marketing firm Raj Investment Services for allegedly duping many people of nearly Rs 26.92 crore.
    The case was first registered with the Borivli police in January and transferred to the EOW in February. “Five persons were arrested,” said an EOW officer. Police sources said the firm was floated in 1998. “It came up with several schemes and promised to double money in five years. The firm initially paid returns to the investors but stopped doing so after 2009,” said the officer. 
    Amulya Vaskar (45), his wife Vaishali, Sachin Palkar (35), Vilas Raikar (35) and Riya Bande (35) were arrested. While Vaskar is still at Arthur Road jail, others have managed to get bails. “The fraud could be bigger. There could be several others who have not come to us,” the officer said.
    The police have frozen the 42 bank accounts of the accused, containing Rs 50 lakh. The accounts are in the name of the company and its office-bearers. The police have also identified 11 properties and a competent authority is yet to be appointed to attach these properties through acourt order. The properties are in Pune, Nashik, Mandalgarh, etc. “We have asked tehsildars of the areas concerned not to entertain sale or purchase of these properties,” the officer said. 
The Times of India, April 29, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

ATS nabs 3 for stabbing, robbing cop

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The ATS on Wednesday arrested three persons for allegedly stabbing a policeman and robbing him of Rs 20,000 last week. Two of the arrested persons—Rafi Ansari and Ejaz Khan—were earlier arrested for the murder of music baron Gulshan Kumar in 1997. 

    The incident happened on April 21 when assistant sub-inspector ShamraoPatil (57)wastravelling by a BEST bus. Ansari, Ejaz Khan and Javed Khan were arrested on Wednesday, while Jumbo aliasZameer Dabholkar was arrestedon April22.
The Times of India, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blast on ship: Captain, chief officer held


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The Yellow Gate police arrested the captain and chief officer of Korean ship Royal Diamond-7 for causing death by negligence. A local court granted them bail but ordered them not to leave the city until further orders.
    Police sources said that a Korean worker, Mun Heyon Seak (56), died on board the vessel after a gas explosion last month. The ship, anchored 15 nautical miles from Mumbai, still contains over 8,000 tonne of inflammable chemicals.
    Police inspector M G Tope said, “We arrested Chung Hyun Ill (42), captain of the ship, and Kim Seong Hun, chief officer, for death due to negligence. Some of the injured persons are still recuperating in several hospitals. We have submitted our report to the court”.
    The Korean ship had come to Mumbai on March 16 from Taiwan and was to go to Kandla Port in Gujarat via Mumbai. “There was an explosion on the ship on March 17, which injured three persons. On March 24, while 14 Indian workers and half a dozen foreigners were working on the ship, there was another explosion, which killed a Korean national and injured six others. Those injured include three Indians,” said Tope.
    Tope said that due to the force of the explosion, an Indian worker was flung into the sea. “When a Korean worker jumped in to save him, he too suffered injuries,” said Tope.
    The Marshall Islandflagged vessel has clearance by the police to sail, but is still anchored in the sea, waiting for clearance from the director general of shipping and the Mumbai Port Trust. The ship was to go to Dubai after Gujarat to deliver chemicals. “It was dangerous for the ship to remain anchored near the shore, so we asked them to take it further away,” said Tope.
The Times of India, April 26, 2012

2 Somali students act as interpreters during pirates’ trial


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The city police, unable to make head or tail of what the 120 arrested Somali piratessaidin court,haveenlistedthehelp of two SomaliMBAstudentsfrom Puneto act as interpretersduring thetrial.
    The Yellow Gate police arrested the pirates in March 2011 for hijacking several ships like Vega 5 and Al-Murtuza, and charged them with murder, attempt to murder, criminal intimidation, hijacking ships andsoon.However,the policehad a difficult time understanding the pirates’ language. “It was a difficult task to know what they said,” said investigating officer M G Tope. The police wrote to the ministry of external

affairs to provide a professional interpreter. However,itwasunableto provideone. 

    The policethen approachedPuneUniversity and identified five Somali students who spoke the pirates’ mother tongue as well as English. “We have hired two such students, bothdoing their MBAfrom differentcolleges in Pune. They are being paid Rs 3,000 per hearing,” said Tope.

    The students were first called in to the Sewri fast-track court last month when chargeswereframed againstthe120 pirates.The accused are notbroughttocourt;they facetrialthrough videoconferencing. “Itis not possibletobring all120in oneday andkeep them in thecourtroom. We gotocourtwiththeinterpreters andthey help uscontinuethe proceedingswhen itcomestounderstanding the pirates’ language,” said an officer. 
The Times of India, April 26, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chhota Rajan gang steps into Kolhapur family feud


Bizman 14th Family Member To Be Murdered

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Investigations into the arrest of a convicted Chhota Rajan gang member, Sharad Kolambe who jumped parole in September 2011, revealed he had taken supari to kill four persons. One of his targets, Ashok Bandivadekar, was killed five days after Kolambe was sent from police custody to Arthur Road jail.
    Acting on a tip-off, a police team comprising inspectors Mahesh Desai, B Belnekar, assistant police inspector Sunil Mane and staff arrested Kolambe. Sources said Kolambe, who was on parole and did not go back to the Kolhapur jail, had taken supari to kill Bandivadekar. The police arrested him and recovered four pistols, a revolver and 26 live bullets from his possession. It is learnt that Kolambe during interrogation told investigators that he was given supari to bump off Bandivadekar by the latter’s cousin, Dr Prakash Suresh Bandivadekar. Dr Prakash is serving a life term in the Kolhapur jail in connection with a 1998 murder case. A group led by him had shot dead Namdev Bandivadekar at a rest house in Chandgad tehsil of Kolhapur over an old feud. 

    Police said that there has been infighting within the Bandivadekar family for several decades. In the latest incident on April 20, Ashok Bandivadekar, chairman of a patsanstha, was shot dead by two unidentified persons. This was the fourteenth mur
der in the Bandivadekar family in the last few years. The Kolhapur police had on April 21 arrested six persons for this murder. 

    The policemen are probing the link between the Bandivadekar killers and Kolambe, who was given supari by the convicted doctor. Kolambe had told police that he was given supari by Dr Prakash but had not got the weapons to execute the operations. He was arrested by the ATS when he had gone to deliver weapons to his shooters near Vile Parle railway station in Mumbai. The Kolhapur police suspect the six contract killers had some contact with Dr Prakash.

The Times of India, April 25, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

3 months on, 13/7 DNA samples lie untested

Staff Shortage At Kalina Lab Delays Probe In Key Cases

  Mateen Hafeez TNN
Mumbai: The anti-terrorism squad (ATS), which is probing the 13/7 serial blasts, had painstakingly collected some vital evidence from a flat in Habib Apartment in Byculla (W), where two suspected Pakistani bombers had stayed before and after the explosions. But three months after they sent the toothbrushes, towels, computer discs, hair and some clothes for DNA tests to the Kalina forensic science laboratory (FSL), the samples are still lying untested.

    “We sent all the samples to the forensic science laboratory in January but have not receivedthe report.This reportis important as it is admissible evidence in the court. We want to get it at the earliest to attach it with the charge sheet in the blast case,” said an ATS officer. 

    Police sources said that the two suspected Pakistani bombers, Waqqas and Tabrez, had stayed in the flat between Janaury and November, 2011. “They fledbutleftsomeclothes in the flat. The DNA profiling willindicateexactly how many
people came and stayed in the room,” said a policeofficer.The flat was allegedly arranged by an Indian citizen, NaqiAhmed.

    The Kalina FSL had a staff of around 350 personnel till February this year when the contract of 150 employees expired. “We are waiting for new
recruitment,” said DMK Malve, joint director of FSL.
    Sourcesin theFSLsaidthat work was delayed due to the manpower shortage. The Kalina and Nagpur FSLs receive around 800 to 1,000 cases to test DNA samples every year. “This year,wehave received 338cases to test DNA samples but only 200 could be completed due to shortage of manpower. The staff for DNA testing is also involvedin other work andhence it’s delayed,” said a source.
    Forensic experts require hair, blood, semen, tissues, bones,saliva,clothes,brush,or somethumbimpression toconduct the test. DNA profiling, say forensic experts, is a foolproof techniqueto provetheinvolvementof a person in a case. When asked about the recruitment of more employees in the FSL, Amitov Rajan, additional chief secretary (home), said, “I don’t have the figures right now. I will tell you later.”
    It is not just the delay in the 13/7 case samples, even those sent for testing in the Nehru Nagar rape and murder of three girlsin 2010 are yettobecompleted. The Nehru Nagar cops had taken blood samples of 654 peoplefor DNAtest. Sofar,only 435 samples have been tested. In thesamecase,thecrimebranch took blood samples of around 750 people, of which 700 tests were done. Last December, the Cuffe Parade police took blood samples of around 700 people. But the lab has completed DNA test for only 300 people so far. This has hampered probe in these all cases.  
Two yrs on, Kurla murders unsolved
Police Blame Forensic Lab At Kalina For Not Testing All DNA Samples Of Suspects Sent To It
V Narayan | TNN
    More than two years after the rape-murders of three girls in Kurla (East), investigation agencies are yet to crack two of the cases. While admitting their failure so far at solving the killings, cops blamed the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) at Kalina for not testing all the DNA samples of suspects it was given.
    Six-year-old Sania Siddique went missing on the night of February 6, 2010, when she stepped out to play with her friends at Vatsalatai Nagar in Kurla (East). The next day, her body was found in a sack on the steps of a nearby building. An autopsy revealed that Siddique was raped and then murdered. Within four months, there were two similar tragedies. Nine-year-old Anjali Jaiswal was found dead on March 6 on the terrace of the police quarters close to Nehru Nagar police station. And, on July 19, nine-year-old Nushrat Shaikh was discovered murdered on the roof of a house in Vatsalatai Nagar.
    Spurred into action by the outcry in the neighbourhood, the police detained many suspects and sent hundreds of DNA samples to FSL. In July 2010, they arrested a 19-yearold cable operator, Javed Shaikh, whose DNA sample matched the DNA found on the body of Nushrat.
    Police officers said the crime branch sent the Kalinabased forensic lab 750 DNA samples, of which 700 were tested. But, of the 654 DNA samples sent by the Nehru Nagar police station, only 435 were tested. This was partly the reason the murders of Siddique and Jaiswal remained unsolved. Eventually, the probe was handed over to the state CID on March 5, 2011.
    “We are working on different angles to get a lead in the two Nehru Nagar rape-murder cases,” said a CID officer.
    Senior inspector Dhananjay Bagayatkar of Nehru Nagar police, who took charge at the police station a few months ago, conceded, “Despite our best efforts, the cases could not be cracked.”
    When asked about the hold-up in the testing of more than 200 DNA samples by FSL, Bagayatkar said, “The delay is due to two reasons. First, the FSL stopped taking the cases seriously after Javed’s arrest. Secondly, it was heard that FSL ran out of chemicals needed for conducting tests. Officials at the lab said that each test costs over Rs 8,000 and they exhausted their supplies of chemicals after testing about 1,000 samples.”
    Newly appointed FSL director Dr MK Malve said he would have to find the reason for the delay. TOI’s questionnaire to FSL enquiring about the progress in testing the remaining DNA samples elicited no response.
    The police said they made thorough attempts to catch the perpetrators of the 2010 Nehru Nagar crimes. Almost 3,000 suspects were detained and questioned. In addition, 800 banners with sketches of the believed perpetrators were put up. “Yet, there was no success,” said an investigator.
Times View
The total lack of effort on part of the investigation agencies indicates they have given up the first two Nehru Nagar cases as two more permanently unsolved mysteries in a long list. Equally shocking is the FSL’s inability to test DNA samples that could have solved two cases that spooked every parent in a huge belt like no other crime in recent times. It is the police’s inability to solve cases likes these and bring criminals to justice that contributes to the citizen’s loss of faith in the force.

WHODUNIT? A mangled bike

CRACKED June 6, 2010 | Nine-yearold Nushrat Shaikh was playing outside her house at Shramik Nagar in Kurla (East) when she went missing. Her body was found on July 19 on the roof of a house in Vatsalatai Nagar. An autopsy later showed the girl had been raped. Based on two DNA tests, a 19-year-old cable operator, Javed Shaikh, was arrested for Nushrat’s rape and murder. An expert later told the court hearing the case that Javed’s DNA matched with the DNA found the victim’s nails and other parts

CRIME SCENE: The spot where the body of Nushrat Shaikh (left inset) was found

March 6, 2010 | Anjali Jaiswal, 9, went missing from outside her home in the evening. The next morning, her body was spotted by a child on the terrace of the police quarters close to Nehru Nagar police station. A post-mortem showed the girl had been raped before being killed. The case is yet to be solved

SEARCH ON: Anjali Jaiswal (right inset) went missing from outside her home

February 7, 2010 | Six-year-old Sania Siddique went missing on the night of February 6 when she stepped out to play with her friends at Vatsalatai Nagar in Kurla (East). The next day, her body was found in a sack on the steps of the nearby Sri Sai Shradha Cooperative Housing Society. Tests revealed the perpetrator first raped and then killed the child. There has been no breakthrough in the case

Mysterious deaths of three children in Cuffe Parade within six months have given rise to the fear that they might be the work of a serial killer
April 19, 2012 | A three-year-old girl went missing from her house in Ambedkar Nagar and was found dead hours later, floating in the sea near Maker Towers. A post-mortem showed the girl had been raped and then strangled
Jan 17, 2012 | A three-year-old child, a resident of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Nagar, was found dead near Veej Bhavan at Cuffe Parade with multiple head injuries
Nov 13, 2011 | A three-year-old girl, who lived at Shiv Shakti chawl in Cuffe
Parade, was found murdered near the
fire brigade station at Nariman Point

The Times of India, April 23, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Charkop erupts in anger over youth’s suicide

Protesters outside Charkop police station


Nitasha Natu I TNN

Mumbai: Charkop erupted on Thursday as shops downed shutters and residents staged a rally, which culminated at the police station, demanding immediate action against the culprits in the Nikesh Bhandari case. Nikesh (26) had thrown himself before a running train in Virar on Tuesday. He left behind a suicide note blaming the police for harassing his family and a group of boys from the locality who had assaulted him on Holi. 

    The Vasai GRP on Wednesday lodged a case of abetment against 15 persons, including inspector Pravin Patil from Charkop police station. Nikesh had stated in his suicide note that Patil did not record his statement properly, tried to
protect one of the accused and threatened his brother,Chaitanya,over phone. “Our contention is that no arrests have been made yet. Home minister RR Patil spoke to me over phone and has summoned us for a meeting to his office” Chaitanya said. Patil also assured the family of a CID probe.
    Led by Shiv Sena MLA Vinod Ghoshalkar, the protesters blocked the road. Some protesters went to the residence of one of the accused, Ankush Gawli, and damaged his belongings. Additional police force had to be summoned and the area near the police station was barricaded. The morcha went on from 10am to 1pm.
    The 15 accused in the case are Sachin Ghag and his wife Nikita,Santosh Gawli, Sumedh Tate and his wife, Ravi Gurav, Sunil Tate, Mahesh Lad, Jagdish Lad, Ashish Gawli,inspector Pavin Patil,NCP activist Prakash Surve, Manaram Patel, Neetu Padhi and Mahesh Khatavkar.
    The Bhandaris sought to know why the charges lodged Nikesh’s attackers, following the Holi assault, were reduced and what police probe was carried out.
STAIN 0N KHAKI Seven cops accused of rape in last 6 yrs
Mumbai: The police, who are struggling to arrest ACP Anil Mahabole, are grappling with the issue of sexual abuse by its personnel. Seven policemen have been accused of rape in the last six years.
    According to its records, constable Sunil More has been imprisoned for 12 years for raping a college student, another constable has been sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for raping a ragpicker. A senior inspector, accused of sexually abusing a minor, died on railway tracks near Ahmednagar in 2010, while an inspector from the V B Nagar police station was arrested for allegedly raping an airline employee. Even as the force condemns such acts, senior police officers distance themselves from the culprits, saying what a policeman does
off duty is not their responsibility. 

    The list of such personnel in the police force is long. Take the example of deceased senior inspector Arun Borude (53). He was part of the force’s encounter squad and enjoyed the patronage of several senior police officers. He was suspended after a blast accused, Khwaja Yunus, was killed in police custody. Years later, Borude was given a plum posting as incharge of L T Marg police station. In October 2010, a 15-year-old girl complained that Borude and others raped her. She delivered a baby as well.
Borude proceeded on sick leave and was absconding after an FIR was registered against him. He was found dead near railway tracks in December 2010. In 2012, a court acquitted several accused in the case. 

    Senior police officers blame long hours and work pressure cause policemen to go astray. “How can we keep tabs on an off-duty policeman?” said a senior officer. 

    A Marine Drive constable, More, raped a college student inside a police chowkie on April 21, 2005. Subsequently, he was dismissed from the department under Article 311 of
the Constitution. While the force was still struggling to wipe off the stains, another constable, Chandrakant Pawar, was arrested for sexually abusing a minor ragpicker on October 17, 2005. A DNA test proved that Pawar raped the girl under the influence of alcohol near Sahar airport and on July 13, 2006, he was sentenced to 15 years’ rigorous imprisonment.
    In December 2010, the Ambernath police registered a case against constable Sanjay Rathod (26), posted with the SRPF for allegedly raping a 20-year-old after promising to marry her.---Mateen Hafeez

The Times of India, April 20, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

13/7 bombers used 18 SIMs to evade cops

ATS Writes To Telecom Regulator As Survey Shows 40% Of SIM Cards In Use In City Were Procured With Fake Documents 


Mateen Hafeez | TNN

    The investigation into the 13/7 triple bombings has revealed that the two Pakistani bombers staying in Byculla’s Habib Apartments used as many as 18 SIM cards and six handsets. The revelation has sent alarm bells ringing in the force. Cops are particularly worried since a survey conducted by them last year had found that four out of 10 SIM cards in use in Mumbai were procured with forged documents, which can be gained for a paltry Rs 5.
    Police sources from the Kalachowkie unit of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) told TOI that two suspected 13/7 bombers—who have been identified in court documents as ‘A’ and ‘B’, but are believed to be Pakistanis named Waqqas and Tabrez—were provided 18 SIM cards by co-accused Naqi Ahmed. Naqi was first arrested by the ATS in January this year for possessing SIM cards obtained with fake documents. It was during his interrogation in this case that Naqi admitted his role in the July 13 blasts and explained the conspiracy. He also admitted working with Indian Mujahideen’s founder member Yasin Bhatkal to arrange accommodation for the bombers at Habib Apartments.
    “We suspected that the bombers changed SIM cards to avoid telephonic surveillance during their stay in Mumbai. We are still collecting the call records of these SIM cards,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity.
    The officer explained that a relative of Naqi ran a shop in Madanpura where he sold SIM cards. The cards for the Pakistani bombers were acquired from there after furnishing fake documents. The cards were however never used to make calls to Pakistan. Nor were any calls received on them from Pakistan. “We are trying to find out if any other SIM was used to speak to family members or handlers in Pakistan,” the officer said.
    The bombers also changed six mobile handsets to avoid leaving behind a trail of evidence. The money for the handsets was provided to Naqi by his handlers in Bihar, said a source.
    The revelation is a security fear come true for the police. Last year, they had found in a survey that about 40% of the SIM cards in use in Mumbai were procured with forged documents. A sub
sequent investigation showed that a set of fake documents—including a colour photograph, a ration card and a photo identity card—required for obtaining a SIM card can be bought in several areas of Mumbai for as little as Rs 5.
    For the survey, the police examined documents submitted for 26,450 randomly chosen SIM cards. Out of these, more than 10,000 were found to be forged. Shaken by the findings, the ATS has written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), asking for stricter implementation of norms related to verification of documents submitted for getting SIM cards. 

    “While investigating serious offences, including terror attacks, we found that the accused had used SIM cards issued on bogus documents,” said a senior ATS officer. “We have requested TRAI to ensure stricter implementa
tion of norms since this is a matter of national security.” 

    After the 13/7 blasts, the Bhiwandi police had arrested a man and seized more than 1 lakh SIM cards, all of which had been issued using fake identity documents. The police later said the accused had been selling cards to telephone booth owners, who earned lakhs using these cards. There was, however, no record of the users. 

Three bombs rocked the city on July 13, 2011. Four individuals have been arrested in the case so far and at least four are wanted by the police:
AGE: 22 
ROLE | Police allege that Indian Mujahideen leader Yasin Bhatkal sent explosives for the 13/7 blasts from Delhi to Mumbai, where Naqi received them. Naqi is also accused of stealing one of the scooters in which a bomb was planted. ATS allege that Naqi helped the suspected Pakistani bombers to conduct recces of the targets prior to the blasts and helped them get a rented room in Habib Apartments (pictured on right) in Byculla
AGE: 23  
ROLE | He was arrested in a SIM card forgery case in which Naqi was also booked. Akhtar is alleged to have ferried explosives from Delhi to Mumbai and stolen one of the scooters that had a bomb. He allegedly helped Naqi transfer two stolen motorbikes in train from Mumbai to Bihar
AGE: 33 
ROLE | Naik was first arrested in a fake currency case in July 2011. A chargesheet filed by the ATS in that case says that Naik travelled for arms training to Pakistan and to Afghanistan, where he met Osama bin Laden. The training was arranged and funded by IM leader Riyaz Bhatkal. Naik allegedly collected funds for the 13/7 attacks in UAE and sent them to India
 AGE: 42 
ROLE | An alleged hawala operator, Pathrija handed over Rs 10 lakh that he had received from Naik to Yasin Bhatkal. He has been charged for aiding and abetting the blasts
AGE: 22 
ROLE | He is suspected of planting the explosive at Dadar and is said to be on the run in Andhra Pradesh. Tahseen, according to the police, arrived in Mumbai from Bihar on July 7, 2011, and stayed at Mumbra. He attended conspiracy meetings in Mumbai
AGE: 24 
ROLE | He is suspected of helping Tahseen conduct recces for the bombings and of taking part in the conspiracy
THE PAK BOMBERS ROLE | Identified as just ‘A’ and ‘B’ in court documents, they are suspected of planting the bombs at Zaveri Bazar and Opera House. Sources say they are two Pakistanis named Waqqas and Tabrez. They reportedly stayed at a flat in Habib Apartments, which was rented by producing fake Indian PAN cards

The Times of India, April 19, 2012


The perpetrators of the 13/7 Mumbai blasts which killed 27 used 18 fraudulently obtained SIM cards. Mateen Hafeez reports, P 4

• 4 out of 10 SIM cards in city are bought on the basis of forged documents. These documents are available for as little as Rs 5 a set 
The Times of India, April 19, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Captain of Korean ship faces arrest for crew member’s death

A Korean national was killed and six people were injured in an explosion on the vessel in March

Mateen Hafeez I TNN

Mumbai: The Yellow Gate police are likely to arrest the Captain and chief officer of Korean ship Royal Diamond-7 on charge of causing death by negligence. A Korean worker, Mun Heyon Seak (56), had died in a gas explosion last month on board the merchant vessel. The ship, anchored 15 nautical miles from Mumbai, still contains over 8,000 tonnes of inflammable chemicals. 

    Inspector M G Tope said the ship came to Mumbai on March 16 from Taiwan and was to go to Kandla port in Gujarat. “There was an explosion on the ship on March 17. Three persons were injured in the blast. On March 24, another explosion took place on the ship. A Korean national was killed and six
people, including three Indians, were injured,” said Tope.
    Moreover, an Indian worker’s leg was burnt and he was flung into the sea due to the gas discharge pressure. “It’s very dangerous to anchor a ship near the shore so we asked them to berth it farther from here. Now, it takes two hours to reach the ship,” said Tope.

The Times of India, April 18,2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Video trial for Somali pirates

Mumbai: Around 120 Somali pirates, caught last year on charges of murder and attempt to murder, are facing trial via video conferencing. “Due to insufficient manpower, it is difficult to transfer them to the court and back. In each case, there are nearly 30 accused and sometimes the hearing for all falls on the same day. Hence, this is the most feasible way,” said a senior jail official. — Mateen Hafeez 
The Times of India, April 17, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

MHA puts cops on duty to net young cyber criminals

Mateen Hafeez TNN
Mumbai: The Union home ministry has issued an unusual advisory to cops across the country—it has listed various measures to reduce growing instances of cyber crime among minors. Among them is a suggestion that young policemen visit cyber cafes under cover “pretending to be minors” to monitor children’s activities.
    According to the advisory, “if any cyber cafe owner allows minors to surf porn sites or carry out other crimes, he could be arrested”. It has mentioned the kinds of cyber crimes children have been found to indulge in, such as stalking, harassment, defamation, character assassination and sending threat emails, and suggested what sections of the Information Technology Act can be invoked in the cases.

    The advisory, which the city police received recently, states that in today’s technology-savvy era, children are prone to using the computer, hence the need to concentrate on how the police can make the use of internet and electronic gadgets safer for them.
    Observing that children are also exposed to sexually explicit material, the MHA has said it must be controlled. “For this, awareness programmes can be conducted at schools and colleges. Moreover, the police cell handling the juvenile section could conduct meetings with parents and suggest what can be done to save children from indulging in cyber crimes,” the advisory says.
Cop site may list safety tips for young cyber users Home Ministry To Police: Minors Involved In Identity Theft, Hacking
    The Union home ministry recently issued an advisory for police across the country to curb growing instances of cyber crime amongst minors.
    The advisory also included suggestions such as listing out safety measures or tips on internet usage on the state police’s web site, or creating a children’s corner where internet tips could be explained to children in a simple and easy-to-understand language. Assistance on the subject could be sought from Nasscom, the National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) as well as the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), it stated.
    Police sources said these days, even school-going children have internet facility on their mobile phones. “Parents must therefore keep monitoring their phones. It could help them find out whether their child is misusing the internet,” said an officer.
    There have been cases where school-going children were found to have made derogatory remarks about their classmates on socialnetworking web sites.
    Some are more serious. A young boy, for instance, had sent out a threat email following the Delhi High Court bomb blast. The email's origin was traced and the boy was arrested. Then, around half a dozen minors were caught by Mumbai’s cyber police for sending terror or threat emails to television channels claiming to be members of terror outfits, simply as attention-seeking stunts. A 16-year-old was convicted in
one such case in Mumbai.
    “Some minors have been found involved in identity theft, hacking of emails or
accounts on social networking web sites, and there is unwanted exposure of sexually explicit material. There is a need to conduct special programmes and skill development for those manning child lines,” the advisory stated.
Home ministry advisory says: FOR POLICEMEN Pose as minors and visit cyber caf├ęs Conduct meetings with parents; interact with them and generate awareness about children’s internet habits Those manning child lines should be aware about internet use and misuse
FOR PARENTS Monitor children’s internet browsing history regularly Also, monitor content of web sites children visit as well as their e-activities Ensure that children aren’t using any fake email account
PSYCHIATRISTS TO PARENTS Do not deal too strictly with children Do not expect them to behave in a mature fashion; they are kids, after all Do not pass value judgements if found guilty Schools should create a friendly and democratic environment for kids Take what kids say with a pinch of salt Educate them about cyber space and its dangers Take the child to a counsellor if found misusing internet despite being told of its dangers  
Sections of the IT Act and the Indian Penal Code that can be invoked in case of cyber crimes:
CYBER STALKING When a victim is repeatedly and persistently followed and pursued online or with electronic gadgets.
    Sections 66A, 66C, 66E of the IT Act for hacking could be invoked, along with Section 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended

    to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code
CYBER BULLYING Acts of harassment, embarrassment, and taunts, insults or threatening behaviour towards a victim by the use of internet
    Sections for cyber stalking could be invoked for cyber
bullying as well
CHILD PORNOGRAPHY This is a serious offence Sections 67, 57A and 67B of the IT Act, and sections 292 and 293 (for sale etc of obscene books or material) of the IPC could be invoked
HACKING OF EMAILS Section 66 of the IT Act could be invoked 
The Times of India, April 15, 2012

Woman accuses ACP of sexual harassment

Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Mumbai: An assistant commissioner of police from the Vinoba Bhave Nagar police station has been accused by a woman of sexually harassing her. This is the third time in a year that such charges have been levelled against personnel posted at the police station in Kurla.
    According to the woman’s complaint, an assistant commissioner of police offered her sweets, eating which she fell unconscious; the officer then shot a video of her in a compromising state and started blackmailing her. The victim complained that the ACP, who has now been posted in a comparatively less important branch, has been blackmailing her with the video, asking her for sexual favours.
    Some senior police officials remained tight-lipped about the increasing crime against women by the men in khaki. “An inquiry and verification is going on and until we receive a report, I cannot comment,” said Rajnish Seth, joint commissioner of police (law and order). Other officers, however, said they were taking efforts to curb such crimes. “When somebody commits a crime, we take action, irrespective of his post or department. We go by the law and will not tolerate misbehaviour with women,” said a senior officer.
    Earlier, a female officer, who is on probation, had alleged that a senior officer had molested her. On Thursday, Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik suspended inspector Dilip Mangaonkar and his orderly, Ashok Bhalekar, for misbehaving with their colleague and passing lewd remarks at her. Last year, a subinspector from the same police station, Manoj Londe, was arrested on charges of rape after he had physical relations with an airline employee after promising to marry her. 

    Policemen being involved in crime is not a new thing. Assistant inspector Umesh Patil, attached to the Nagpada police station, was suspended on Friday for allegedly using a stolen bike with a fake registration number to patrol the area. Sources said Patil had been using the stolen bike for the last three months.

APRIL 12 Senior inspector Mahendra Chavan, attached to the Ulhasnagar crime branch, is booked for allegedly demanding Rs 10,000 from an ex-NCP corporator to renovate his office. He allegedly threatened to book the former corpoator in a false case when the latter refused to pay 
 MARCH 1 Four persons, including two cops from the Thane anti-narcotics cell, are arrested for allegedly selling charas worth Rs 1.2 lakh. The arrested policemen were head constable Ashok Suryavanshi (50) and police nayak Shivaji Kshirsagar (36)
JANUARY 19 Crime branch inspector Ravindra Badgujar is suspended for facilitating the acquittal of a hawala operator in a case linked to gangster Farid Tanasha’s murder

The Times of India, April 15, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Blood test must in drunk driving cases


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Police commissioner Arup Patnaik has directed his force to conduct blood tests on all the accused involved in hit-and-run cases.
    The instructions were issued during a recent crime conference meeting attended by police station heads. Patnaik told his subordinates to be careful while probing such cases. Till a while ago, all the accused in drunk driving

cases were subjected mainly to breathalyzer tests. “However, now they will be taken to the nearest government hospital and will have to give their blood for a more specific report about the quantity of alcohol, if at all. The blood samples will be sent to Kalina forensic science laboratory for analysis and if found drunk, strict action will be taken against such drivers,” said a police officer.
    Officers from various police stations have been asked to assist the traffic police during anti-drunk driving campaigns. Personnel from police stations will also participate in such drives, said an officer.

The Times of India, April 14, 2012

Rajan aide who jumped parole nabbed

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) arrested a convicted Chhota Rajan gang member who jumped parole in September 2011. The police found several firearms in Sachin Kolambe’s possession when he came to deliver them to some shooters near Vile Parle railway station.
    Sources said they received information about Kolambe’s (41) presence in Mumbai last week. A team comprising assistant police inspector Sunil Mane, inspectors M Desai, B Belnekar and staff laid a trap and arrested Kolambe.
    “We found four pistols, a revolver and 26 live bullets in his possession. Kolambe planned to kidnap a Pune businessman and had come to deliver weapons to four shooters who were supposed to execute this job,” said a police officer.
    Kolambe was convicted in 2002 for a kidnap and murder case. The court sentenced him to life imprisonment. He was granted parole but wanted to appeal against the court’s order. “He planned another crime to get money,” said the officer.

The Times of India, April 14, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012


Vijay Palande, accused in Arunkumar Tikku’s murder, is not the first undertrial gangster to have escaped from Mumbai police’s clutches. Here are some other infamous cases

Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Feroz Konkani: 1998
Dreaded contract killer and the main accused in BJP MLA Ramdas Nayak’s murder, Feroz Abudulla Sarguroh alias Feroz Konkani (24), escaped from J J Hospital on May 6, 1998, after two men on a bike barged into the hospital and opened fire at his police escort, injuring two policemen seriously. A head constable succumbed to his injuries.
Imran Mehndi: 2000
Gangster Imran Mehendi, said to be an expert in jumping from highrises, was
produced in Mazgaon court in 2000. Mehndi, who was suspected to be a conspirator in the case, was waiting outside the court room with cops when a biker appeared on the road outside. Seeing him, Mehndi jumped from the third floor of the court passage, and sped away. Mehndi was caught later and is currently in Aurangabad police’s custody.
Haneef Kaliya: 2009
Shivaji Nagar police have rearrested a 32-year-old robber who had escaped from
police custody inside Kurla court premises. The accused, Haneef Kaliya and his elder brother Majeed (35), were caught by Shivaji Nagar police on charges of robbery. The two were taken to the Kurla court, but Haneef managed to escape within 10 minutes of his arrival. Haneef is facing cases of robbery, extortion, rioting and attempt to murder. 

Sachin Khambe and Mangesh Narkar: 2010
Two high-profile gangsters managed to escape after throwing chilly powder at
policemen escorting them from Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai to Nashik central prison. Sources said Sachin Khambe and Mangesh Narkar were being taken to Nashik central prison from Nashik Road station in an autorickshaw when the incident took place. But the cops managed to nab Khambe three hours later.
Altaf Shaikh: Feb 2012
Arape convict ran away from J J Hospital amidst heavy police bandobast around on February 18 this year. Altaf Shaikh (27) was found guilty of rape in 2010 and was lodged in Kolhapur central jail. He was brought to
Mumbai recently for a cheating case’s hearing but complained of chest pain and vomitted blood. He was taken to J J Hospital, from where he managed to flee after a police officer went to collect his discharge papers from the hospital’s office. Shaikh was handcuffed to the hospital bed, but managed to wriggle out of them and slipped away. 
The Times of India, April 13, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Over 18 quizzed in Kripa case

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the alleged disproportionate assets case against former city Congress chief Kripashankar Singh and his family members has recorded statements of more than 18 persons.
    Police questioned a wellknown developer, several film personalities and businessmen connected to Singh and his family members. “The police have summoned those who had given money ortakenmoneyfromSingh’s family members, including his son, Narendera alias Sanjay,” said a police source. Sanjay, a former pilot, said he had taken loans from various banks and individuals. . “We are verifying if the transactions are correct. The police is also probing the source of income for several properties bought by Singh and his family members,” said a police officer. The statements of Singh or his family members have not been recorded yet.
    Sanjay said that the police had come to their residence for confirmation of some issues and they did cooperate with them. “We
have not been called for our statements. However, whenever they come for any clarification or confirmation, we do cooperate. I think that there is need to obtain a detailed report about the ownership of the properties (mentioned in the PIL) through RTI. It will help to find out who owns these
properties,” said Sanjay.
    On February 22, this year, the Bombay high court ordered the Mumbai police to attach several properties belonging to Singh and his kin and investigate allegations of criminal misconduct and disproportionate assets.

The Times of India, April 11, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bandra man held for threat calls to netas

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) on Tuesday arrested a 41-year-old man for allegedly posing as an al-Qaeda operative and threatening to kill political leaders. The accused, Mufeez Shahbandri, was picked up from hisBandra residence.
    Shahbandri used an advancedsoftwareto makethreatcalls to politicians via theinternetusing the numbers of people he owed money to or held a grudge against. This, said the police, is thefirsttime a spoofing casehas been detectedin Maharashtra.
    Shahbandri has been booked for impersonation, identity theft, hacking and criminal intimidation. He has been remandedin policecustody tillApril 9.
    The police had received around seven applications from prominent politicians like Ramdas Kadam (Shiv Sena), Kirit Somaiya (BJP), Subhash Desai (Sena), Divakar Rawate (Sena), Sardar Tara Singh (BJP), Gopinath Munde (BJP), etc., complaining aboutthreatcalls.
    “The calls were made in February, July and November last year and again in February this year. The caller would identify himself as an al-Qaeda operative, threaten politicians in Hindi andhang up,”said an officer.
    ATS chief Rakesh Maria said, “Our probeison and areexploring all angles.”
    Investigators traced the numbers from which the threat calls were made to some businessmen. “They were summoned and questioned. We found that these people had no idea that their numbers were being misused,” said the officer. “Their outgoing call records did not reflectthe politicians’ numbers.”
    Later, the cyber unit of the ATS foundthat an advancedsoftware was used to make the calls through the internet. “It was a caseof spoofing,”said an officer.
    Shahbandri is a Std XII passout andcomputer-savvy.Hehas workedin Oman andDubai. “He is originally from Bhatkal in Karnataka but is into the passport and visa business in Mumbai,” said the officer. “He used the numbers of some of his clientshehadfailedto get visasfor. The clients were demanding their money back and Shahbandri came up wth the threat-call plan to buy himself time to repay them. Shahbandri knew that one he made the calls, the clients would be picked up for questioning and this would give him timeto arrangefor the money. There is no terror link,” said theofficer.
    Shahbandri’s also used the number of a man he suspected his wife was having an affair withto makethreatcallsto a leader. Subsequently, the man was rounded up by the police. Shahbandrihastoldthe policethathe wasin businesswith SohailKaskar, son of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Noora, in Dubai and the latter duped him of over Rs55lakh. 
CALLING THE BLUFF Mufeez Shahbandri used an advanced software to make threat calls to politicians via the internet using numbers of people he owed money to or held a grudge against
Shahbandri, who runs a visa and passport business in the city, posed as an al-Qaeda operative to threaten politicians
Though Shahbandri is just Std XII passout, he is computer-savvy
This is the first detected case of spoofing in Maharashtra

The Times of India, April 5, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

ATS in Hyd to trace ‘bomber’



Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Mumbai: An anti-terrorism squad (ATS) team from Maharashtra has left for Hyderabad to trace Shaikh Tahseen, suspected to be involved in the 13/7 serial blasts in the city. The 24-year-old youth is suspected to have planted the bomb at Dadar where one person was killed and more than a dozen injured on July 13 last year.
    According to a source, Tahseen grew up in Mumbra where he completed his school; after
that, he was sent to his hometown in Darbhanga district, Bihar. “There, he came in contact with Indian Mujahideen (IM) key player, Zarar Siddipa alias Yasin Bhatkal alias Imran. Tahseen was aware that Bhatkal was an IM leader. For the past one year, Tahseen had been shuttling between Darbhanga and Mumbai,” said the police. He added that Tahseen arrived in Mumbai in the first week of July and stayed at his relatives’ house in Mumbra. “He was in touch with Bhatkal after
reaching Mumbai,” the source added. The police have met Tahseen’s relatives in Mumbra and recorded their statements. They were, however, unaware of Tahseen’s involvement in the attack, said an officer.
    ATS chief Rakesh Maria declined to comment on the development. “The probe is at a sensitive stage and I don’t want to say anything right now,” was all that he offered. 

    For the blasts at Opera House, Zaveri Bazar and a spot near Dadar station that killed 27 people and injured more than 100, the ATS has so far arrested four persons, Naqi Shaikh, Nadeem Akhtar, Kanwarnain Pathrija and Haroon Rasheed Naik. During interrogations, police found that Bhatkal, suspected to be the architect of the blasts, stayed at Habib Manzil in Byculla; he stayed with two others, Waqqas and Tabrez. While there were reports that the two were Pakistani nationals, the police did not name them in the FIR or remand applications. They are called ‘A’ and ‘B’. “We have learnt that Bhatkal also stayed in guest houses at Pydhonie and Chembur,” said police.
 The Times of India, April 4, 2012

Top telecom firm officer detained in cheating case

Mateen Hafeez I TNN

Mumbai: The economic offences wing (EOW) on Tuesday detained Pratap Ghose, chief finance officer of Etisalat DB Telecom at the international airport while he was trying to leave for Dubai.
    A lookout notice was issued against Ghose after the case was registered with the city police. Ghose, who was leaving for Dubai, was detained by the immigration officials who informed the EOW sleuths. The EOW brought Ghose to its headquarters at Crawford Market. “We have not arrested him yet. He is being questioned,” said an EOW officer. 

    Last week, the Esplanade city court had directed the EOW to register criminal cases of cheating against Etisalat’s top bosses. The franchisees or channel partners as they are called, Sameer Sheikh and Sayyad Azhar Abbas from Malad, and Harishchandra Pandey from Dahisar, had moved the court, seeking its intervention. The petitioners claimed that they were contracted by Etisalat DB Telecom two years ago to sell Cheers mobile prepaid and postpaid services besides other value added services. Each of them paid approximately Rs 1 lakh as deposit to the company. However, the business never took off and eventually closed down following the Supreme Court order.
    In their plea, the complainants named Etisalat bosses, group CEO Ahmed Abdul Karim Julfar, CEO (international investments) Jamal Al Jarwar, group marketing officer Essa Al Haddad and senior VP (corporate regulatory affairs) Kamal Shehadi and two others, besides Etisalat DB Telecom’s Pratap Ghose as accused. While all the persons mentioned in the plea are UAE nationals, Ghose is an Indian.
The Times of India, April 4, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Young terror recruit from city returns to ‘normal’ life



ATS Sleuths Help ‘Brainwashed’ Grad 


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Rubab Shah (name changed to protect identity) returned from a terror training camp three months ago, fully equipped to create havoc in the country. A few weeks later, however, he developed cold feet and had a change of heart. Unable to confide in 
anyone, he went through a month of turmoil before approaching the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
    Shah, who says he did not want to kill anyone or get caught for such crimes, admitted everything to the ATS officers and expressed his regret. Today, the 20-something MCom has a job on the recommendation of the police and earns Rs 25,000 a month.
    Sources in the ATS say Shah, who studied in Mumbai, was brainwashed to go for a month’s training across the border. “He completed his training in assembling firearms, connecting explosive devices, identifying important locations, mixing explosives and fitting timer devices. He was also taught how to recruit more men and expand the network,” says an officer.  
Our fight is against terror, not terrorists, says Maria
    After Rubab Shah approached the ATS, he was taken to its chief, Rakesh Maria. “We counselled and ‘neutralized’ him. Our fight is against terrorism, not terrorists,” says Maria, who personally questioned Shah.
    The ATS is now conducting a de-indoctrination programme for youngsters like Shah. “We are improving our information system and are trying to deradicalize those who are/ were on the periphery of a terror network,” says Maria. “We have begun working towards a good counselling system, which includes a de-indoctrination programme, and hope to get results in the next few years.”
    Maria says the ATS is actively identifying potential terror trainees with some help from NGOs. “There are some boys (who are part of sleeper cells) who do not have an active role, but I feel we should neutralize them,” he says. “An important part of this is to eradicate the feelings of persecution that such people invariably harbour. We need to bridge the gap between the police and such communities.”
    The ATS is aware of a few people who have been involved in brainwashing youngsters and instigating them into terror training or becoming members of terror modules. Says Maria, “We have made it clear to such people that we know about their activities, and that if they do not stop doing this, they will be booked.”

The Times of India, April 3, 2012