Monday, July 15, 2013

Bid to strike gold lands duo in cop net

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The city crime branch has arrested an estate agent and a college student, who allegedly tried to extort money from jewellers, threatening them with dire consequences if they failed to pay them. But the two ran out of luck at their very first attempt at making a quick buck after the two jewellers, from whom they had demanded Rs 40 lakh, lodged a police complaint.
 
    Jeweller Bharat Jain, who has a shop in Khar, received the first threat call from accused Afzal Shaikh (26) and Adnan Khan (20) on July 2; the calls continued till July 10, after which Jain lodged a complaint with the Khar police.
 
    On Saturday, Dinesh Mehta who has a jewellery shop in Bandra, received an extortion call from the accused who demanded Rs 20 lakh as “protection money” from him. “If the money is not paid, you will be shot dead,” the caller reportedly told Mehta, who immediately reported the incident to the Bandra police. As directed by the cops, Mehta told the accused that he was ready to pay and asked them to meet him in Bandra. When the duo came to “pick up the money”, the police arrested them.
 
    “During investigation, we learnt that similar calls were made to some other jewellers as well. We used our phone-tracking device to get details of the accused such as their locations in the past few days and their personal data. Shaikh and Khan are both from Malwani in Malad. Khan is doing graduation from a city college. The two have admitted that they had demanded money from jewellers,” a police officer said.
 
    During interrogations, the accused told the police that on several occasions, they had posed as members of the Ravi Pujari gang. Last month, the two went to Uttar Pradesh from where they bought dozens of mobile SIM cards, planning to use them for the extortion calls. “They also got hold of a telephone directory in which they zeroed in on the names of jewellers and their addresses. As they settled down on some numbers, they started making random calls, demanding money. We have seized the SIM cards, the mobile used in the crime and other documents,” said a Bandra police officer. The police are now trying to confirm that the accused had not succeeded in extorting money from anyone.

The accused demand Rs 40 lakh from jewellers Bharat Jain and Dinesh Mehta. The two approach the cops


As told by cops, Mehta asks the accused to collect the money. The accused duo is arrested from the spot


The accused say they bought dozens of SIM cards from UP. They zeroed in on jewellers from phone directory 
The Times of India, July 15, 2013

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