Friday, January 31, 2014

French woman attacked on crowded street

Hussain Saylawala and Ibris Sathalia took Claudon to hospital; Saiful Badokochi (inset)

‘Mentally Deranged’ Attacker Beaten Up By Mob At Fort


 Chittaranjan Tembhekar, Mateen Hafeez & Sumitra Deb Roy TNN 


Mumbai: Yet another incident on Thursday brought to the fore the fact that the city was unsafe for foreign nationals... this time again a woman. Though it was the first attack on a female foreigner this year, it is the second in six months. An American was mugged in a first class coach in Marine Lines by a drug addict in August 2013.
    French national Caroline Claudon (57) was attacked by a mentally deranged man on Thursday evening on the crowded Wallace Street at Fort, near the National Insurance building on D N Road. Saiful Badokochi, a resident of Khalpada, 24 Parganas, West Bengal, had apparently arrived in the city the same morning. Narendra Singh, senior inspector of the Azad Maidan police, said, “We have taken him in custody and his interrogation is on. He told us that foreigners had committed atrocities on us (Indians). He said he was hungry and had not eaten anything for three days.” The victim’s statement is yet to be recorded.
    Ravindra Shisve, deputy commissioner (zone I), met Claudon at the hospital’s emergency room and apologized for the attack. “Badokochi is deranged and probably suffering from some psychiatric condition,” he said. Shivse said he has been booked under Section 324 (causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a non-bailable offence.
    This is Claudon’s sixth trip to India and not the first to Mumbai. The attack left her with a deep cut on her cheek, inches below the eye. Doctors at St George Hospital said she needed nine stitches and was given intravenous fluids.
    The resident of Paris said the incident shocked her as she never experienced anything untoward on previous visits. “India is safe. Women security is an important issue. I keep coming back as I love this country and I have friends here,” she said, adding that Mumbai has been her favourite destination for spices for friends back home.
    She stays at the Salvation Army guest house in Colaba and plans to fly out on Saturday.
    Hussain Saylawala and
Ibris Sathalia, who took Caroline to hospital, said they were coming from the mosque when they saw her applying ice on her face at a nearby sugarcane juice kiosk. “She was bleeding and weeping, so we took her to hospital on our bike as traffic was heavy. The mob was after the attacker and hardly anyone took care of the lady,” they said.
    Sumit, an onlooker, said, “He looked enraged and had no intension to rob or molest her. He punched her in the face. People were confused, they thought the youth had stabbed Caroline and it was a murder attempt.” Sunil, also a witness, said the attacker was crying and was behaving abnormally when the crowd started beating him up.
    In August 13, 2005, a Manipuri, Ngakuimi Raleng and her friend Leishichon Shaiza, were stabbed at the Gateway of India in front of many bystanders.
Aug 18, 2013 | American Michelle Marks was slashed and robbed by a drug addict on a train near Marine Lines aboard a local train
Nov 4, 2012 | Rape of Spaniard by an armed robber after he climbed into her rented flat through the window in Bandra
Oct 29, 2012 | Two youths attacked and molested a 21-year-old Russian dancer at Worli Seaface
Dec 27, 2005 | A 27-yearold aspiring model from South Africa was allegedly raped for two days by two youths who allegedly spiked her drink at a pub in a suburban hotel

The Times of India, January 31, 2014

EX-MD of Birla firm held in cheating case

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The economic offences wing on Thursday arrested PVR Murthy, former managing director of Birla Power Solutions Pvt Ltd, for his alleged role in a cheating case registered against several directors of the company. 

    The Marine Drive police on December 30, 2013, registered a case against Birla Power Solutions for allegedly duping a Worli businessman, Bhavin Seth, of Rs 1 crore by not repaying his FD investment on maturity.
    Additional commissioner of police Rajvardhan Sinha confirmed that Murthy was arrested on Thursday. “Illegal transfer of funds from Birla Solutions to other companies took place when Murthy was the chief financial officer. He was mainly responsible for the transfer,” said Sinha.
The Times of India, Jauary 31, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Phishers dupe IPS officer’s friend of 3 lakh



Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The cyber crime investigation cell has arrested two persons, including a Nigerian national, for hacking into the email account of an IPS officer and sending mails to his contacts requesting them to put money into his bank account. A friend of the complainant, who did not verify the facts, deposited Rs 2.6 lakh in the account. 
    The hacker sent emails to 79 contacts of the additional DGP (name withheld). He wrote that the complainant was in America and his bag—containing money, passport and documents—was stolen and he needed money urgently.
    The crime branch filed an FIR on January 18. A team—under the supervision of crime branch chief Himanshu Roy and additional commissioner Niket Kaushik—began the probe. The complainant said he got a call from a friend asking if he needed money. The IPS officer took details of the email his friend had received. Suspecting phishing, he lodged the complaint. By then, a businessman friend of the IPS officer had already deposited Rs 2.6 lakh in the account. “The complainant’s account was hacked into on January 6. We traced the Internet Protocol address of the email to Nigeria. The bank account was in an Udaipur bank in Rajasthan,” said police.
Cops reached Udaipur, collected the details of the account holder, who said he withdrew money and hand it over to an Udaipur resident, Deepak Sethiya (32) on a 5% commission. The police nabbed Sethiya from Santa Cruz airport on Tuesday after he landed in Mumbai. Sethiya’s interrogation led the cops to Nigerian national, Cyril Theophilius (29), staying in Ambuj Wadi, Malwani. Both Sethiya and Theophilius have been booked. Cops found transactions of over Rs 80 lakh in the bank accounts, now frozen. Cops said they will soon arrest four others in the case. 
The Times of India, January 30, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Police ask bank to freeze Ferreira’s a/c

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The economic offences wing (EOW) probing the Rs 425-crore QNet cheating case on Tuesday wrote to a bank asking it to freeze former billiards champion Michael Ferreira’s account. Ferreira (75), who was questioned by the EOW for two hours on Tuesday, also deposited his passport. 

    A court hearing Ferreira’s anticipatory bail plea had directed him to appear before the EOW between January 27 and 31. The police said Ferreira holds 80% shares of Vihaan Di
rect Selling. “We want to know how he came in touch with Vihaan. He said he got commission by working for it,” said an officer. When asked about his source of income, Ferreira reportedly said he wrote columns in newspapers and appeared as commentator on TV shows.
    A PR firm, on behalf of Ferreira, said he responded to all queries and will continue to cooperate with the probe. “He maintained that the cheating and other charges against him are baseless. He is only an investor in Vihaan and had no executive role to play,” the statement said. 
The Times of India, January 29, 2014

Dabholkar case suspect does a U-turn on Maria

ATS chief Rakesh Maria


Asseem Shaikh & Mateen Hafeez TNN

Pune/Mumbai: Arms dealer Manish Nagori, who had alleged that the Maharashtra ATS chief Rakesh Maria had offered Rs 25 lakh to confess to his role in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case, has done a U-turn on the charges. On Tuesday, Nagori told a Pune court that he had made the allegations against Maria in an “emotional state of mind” and they were not true.
    Last week, Nagori’s lawyer Biju Aloor had alleged in open court that Maria offered money to Nagori and his associate Vikas Khandelwal to ‘admit’ their involvement in the rationalist’s muder. Nagori alleged that he was made a scapegoat following pressure from state home minister R R Patil. He also claimed that the ATS had illegally subjected them to lie detector, polygraph and narco-analysis tests, without a court’s permission or their consent. Magistrate A B Shaikh advised Nagori that any complaint against ATS should be made to the proper court and not him.
    There are up to 27 cases illegal arm selling against Nagori in the state. He faces at least four murder cases in Pune and Kolhapur. Following his interrogation two months ago, the ATS recovered 20 firearms from nine other accused and arrested them.
    It is learnt that ATS officials, on November 20 last year, wrote to the Pune police chief saying the firearm recovered from Khandelwal matched the bullets removed from Dabholkar body. The ATS has also attached a ballistic report of the forensic science laboratory. The agency is learnt to have further written that since the Pune police was probing the Dabholkar case, the ATS was ready to assist them in the probe. The duo has been sent to police custody till February 4.
    ACP (crime) Rajendra Bhamre said they were probing how the weapon had reached Mumbra and, hence, further custodial interrogation of Nagori and Khandelwal was essential. He further said Nagori and Khandelwal were not co-operating with the police.
    Assistant public prosecutor M G Poul argued that while investigations have confirmed the suspects’ role in the conspiracy meeting, they were being vague and misleading in their replies. Aloor submitted that CCTV footage nowhere show the suspects as being present at the scene before or after the murder.

The Times of India, January 28, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ferreira appears before EOW, questioned in cheating case

Michael Ferreira


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Three weeks after the city police issued a look-out circular against former world billiards champion Michael Ferreira in connection with the Rs 425-crore scam allegedly committed by multi-level marketing firm QNet, on Monday he appeared before the economic offences wing (EOW) officials, who recorded his statement. He has been summoned on Tuesday.
    Ferreira (75) was in the EOW office for nearly two hours. “Our officers spoke to Ferreira about several things related to the case. As per the court instructions, he will deposit his passport with us tomorrow. We have not started attachment of properties yet,” said Rajvardhan Sinha, additional commissioner of police, EOW, indicating the attachments may begin in the next two to three days. The sessions court, which is hearing Ferreira’s anticipatory bail application, directed him to appear before the investigators between January 27 and January 31. Hearing for his bail application is scheduled for January 31. After Ferreira had failed to turn up for questioning as per a police summon, a look-out circular notice was issued against him and several others on January 2. Ferreira, who was in Malaysia, had said he could not appear before the EOW as he was undergoing treatment there.
    But, through his PR firm, Ferreira dismissed the insinuation that he was trying to evade the law. “I came back the moment doctors cleared my trip.”

The Times of India, January 28, 2014

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bizman held in Spain 6 yrs ago returns after charges dropped


Roshan Jamal Khan was released from a Spain jail after six years

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Roshan Jamal Khan, now 56, who spent six years in Spain’s jails, returned home this week after the government dropped charges of terrorism and plot to bomb Metro trains in six countries. Khan and his family say they did not receive any cooperation from the Indian Embassy and that they are preparing to file a defamation suit and demand compensation from the Spain government.
    Jamal, a St Xavier’s College graduate, went to Spain in January 2008 to look for options in olive oil trade. On January 17, he was picked up from Tarique Bin Ziyad mosque in Barcelona along with an Indian and 12 Pakistanis. “I was reciting Quran. Suddenly, I heard a blast and some masked people, holding guns, handcuffed and blindfolded everyone and whisked them away,” said Khan on Friday while addressing the media near Metro Cinema in south Mumbai (see pic).
    Khan, a Jogeshwari resident, was told that he was detained on charges of terrorism. “I was kept in Calabozo (a high security prison)
which was dark and stinking,” said Khan. 

    Among the 11 who faced the charges, Khan was the lone Indian. Probe by the CBI and ATS cleared him of all terror charges in India. Narrating the trauma, Khan said he was mentally tortured. “No one from the Indian Embassy came to meet me for four months. Cops would take my signature on blank paper. As I did not understand Spanish, I had no option but to sign.”
    Khan was charged with assembling explosives. Despite the judge not being convinced, Khan was sentenced for eight years in 2010. A year later, his appeal came in the Spanish apex court which dropped the charges. But he was charged for association with an armed gang.
    During his stay in Spain, Khan lost his father on September 28, 2010. A day later, his mother died. “My daughter quit studies, my son who wanted to be an engineer had to take another course for lack of fund, my youngest daughter was not allowed in exams for not paying fees. My brother Mehboob took care of them,” said Khan.

The Times of India, January 25, 2014

‘Delhi bizman conned SpeakAsia promoter’

A flat and a shop collectively worth 3.5 crore in a building in Four Bungalows that the businessman took over from Ram Niwas Pal


Usurped Shop And Apartment In Andheri When Fraudster Was On The Run, Says EOW


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: It is a case of the biter bit as SpeakAsia promoter, Ram Niwas Pal (41), has confessed that he got conned by a Delhi businessman. Pal is reportedly one of the masterminds of the Rs 2,276 crore fraud.
    According to the investigators, a businessman has usurped Pal’s Andheri flat and a shop collectively worth Rs 3.5 crore. 

    Pal claims the businessman is close to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and heads a party committee. Pal said he worked as flight engineer with the Indian Air Force and quit in 2002. However, the police maintain he was court-martialled. “The 38-year-old businessman, who resides in Delhi’s Civil Lines, provided Pal shelter when he was on
the run,” said an officer. “He arranged a 2-BHK flat for Pal, his wife and two children in September 2013 and Pal paid the rent. Pal owned
a flat and a shop in Andheri
and an office in Mumbai. The businessman told Pal
that if he was arrested, then
the police would attach the properties. He asked Pal to
transfer some assets. Since
Pal was on the run, he complied,” he added. Pal claimed that the businessman moved around with seven to eight armed “personal security officers” in three cars.
    “The businessman operates as a developer in Agra, Noida, Ghaziabad and Dehradun. I was tasked with his construction business in Delhi. He promised to give me 25% profit from the construction work since he wanted to join full-time politics,” Pal said.
    The economic offences wing (EOW) is planning to summon the businessman soon. “He has harboured a wanted accused and hence we would like to question him. We are taking help from the Delhi police to summon him. Pal has made serious allegations that we would like to verify,” said an EOW investigator.
SpeakAsia starts as a pyramid ponzi scheme
Each investor is told to deposit 11,000 and is promised 52,000 in return for filling up online surveys
If an investors introduces two more members, then he/she is paid an additional 2,000
THE ‘VICTIM’ | Ram Niwas Pal brings finances to start SpeakAsia. Suspected to be into ponzi schemes since 2003. He is arrested by the Delhi police in December 2013. He is handed over to the EOW and booked in the Admatrix cheating case. Cops get his custody in the Seven Rings International fraud case 
2,276cr : Money siphoned 710cr : Cash laundered by firms 24L : investors duped

Ram Sumiran Pal | Promoter
 Role | Ex-manager of an international bank. Joins hands with his brother and Sharma’s Tulsiyat Tech to start SpeakAsia  
Status | Arrested 
 Manoj Kumar Sharma | India CEO of SpeakAsia  
Role | He planned, designed and engineered the scam. Has fled the country, lookout notice out against him
Status | Wanted
Harendar Kaur | Global head of SpeakAsia online
Role | Singapore-based businesswoman allegedly helps transfer money out of India to banks abroad through her own firm 
Status | Wanted

Manoj Kumar Sharma

The Times of India, January 25, 2014

EOW carries out search at offices of Yash Birla



Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai:The economic offences wing (EOW) probing a cheating case carried out searches on Friday at seven premises belonging to businessman Yash Birla and the directors of Birla Power Solutions Pvt Ltd. 

    The police said they were looking for account books and computer data about the investors. Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate has identified some undeclared foreign bank accounts belonging to Yash Birla. “The information is that there is substantial balance running into crores. Our inves
tigations are in progress,” an official said.
    TOI had first reported the case on December 31, 2013. On December 30, 2013, the Marine Drive police registered a cheating case against Birla Power Solutions for allegedly duping a Worli-based businessman of Rs 1crore by not repaying his fixed deposit investment on maturity.
    The case was later transferred to the EOW. “Till date, 28 investors have approached us saying they have been cheated of Rs 20 crore,” said additional commissioner (EOW) Rajvardhan Sinha.
    Anand Vardhan Pathak, president (corporate affairs) of the Yash Birla Group was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau early this month under the NDPS Act. “We have summoned all the directors of Birla Power Solutions, including Yash Birla for their statement,” said Sinha. 
The Times of India, January 25, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bank manager, aide nabbed for stealing cheques from press


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The economic offences wing (EOW) of the city crime branch has arrested a bank manager and an auto consultant for stealing cheques from the press, opening accounts in banks, forging signatures and withdrawing money.

    The accused, Hiren Deepak Shah (34; customer service manager at a bank) and Amardeep Srivastav (33; auto consultant who resides at Mira Road), siphoned off Rs 1.45 crore from the accounts of three companies: Bhushan Steel, Archies and Earth Infrastructure, all based in New Delhi. 

    “A gang of six to eight people came in touch with Srivastav. The gang members, who are yet to be caught, told him to befriend a bank manager in Andheri (East). The gang would steal cheques from a printing press at Marol in Andheri (East) and Navi Mumbai,” said a police source. “They would open envelopes containing cheque books and tear cheques at random. They would then seal the envelopes back. The cheque books with missing cheques would go from the press to the bank to customers through courier companies.”   He said people generally do not count cheques in a cheque
book or check if they are arranged according to serial numbers. “The gang took advantage of this.” 

    Explaining how the gang was busted, the police source said the bank received a cheque of Rs 9 lakh, issued by one of the three firms. But the firm stopped payment. When bank authorities spoke to the firm, they were told that it did not issue a cheque. The bank inquired about Pankaj Kamal Khanna, under whose name the cheque was issued: the account was opened in September 2013 and till December, Rs 70 lakh had been deposited.

    The matter was referred to the EOW. After going through records, including Khanna’s contact details, the police zeroed in on Srivastav, who spilled the beans on Shah.

The Times of India, January 23, 2014

Pre-arrest bail hearing of Ferreira on January 31


Rebecca Samervel & Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: A sessions court on Wednesday said it will hear the anticipatory bail plea of Michael Ferreira in the case of multi-level marketing firm QNet on January 31.
    However, the Padma Bhushan recipient has been directed to attend the economic offences wing (EOW) office from January 27 to 30.   Ferriera also sought a stay on the lookout notice issued against him stating that he was in Kuala Lumpur for treatment. 
The billiards champion has maintained he was falsely implicated in the case. “The applicant was not committed, nor was in charge and was not responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company. He is merely a shareholder of the company and was invited by the company, to accept the shareholding. He has no role in the day-to-day functioning of the company,” said Ferreira’s lawyer.
    On Tuesday, the investigators issued summons to actor Boman Irani’s son, Danesh. Danesh was associated with QNet, which is facing a cheating case, as an independent representative.  “An bank account of Danesh a balance of Rs 25 lakh,” said an officer. 
The Times of India, January 23, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Accident with BEST vehicle leaves Lt Cdr seriously hurt

Somit Sen & Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: A 33-year-old lieutenant commander in the navy was seriously injured in an accident involving his motorcycle and a BEST material truck near Regal Cinema in Colaba on Tuesday. 

    Lt Cdr Binith Behotra was admitted to INHS Ashwini in an unconscious condition, said officials.     BEST spokesperson Hanumant Gophane said that the naval officer was riding a motorcycle, which “came in contact with the right side rear wheel” of the truck. The police registered a case against the driver.

    The incident occurred around 8.45 am.  “He [Behotra] fell off the motorcycle and sustained serious injuries,” Gophane said. “He was rushed to the naval hospital in Navy Nagar, Colaba, in an unconscious condition.”  It was raining when the accident took place, said sources. It was not clear whether the navy officer’s bike skid on the wet road. 

    “Our material truck was carrying supplies from the Colaba depot to the Wadala depot and the accident occurred en route,” Gophane said. “BEST will conduct a detailed inquiry into the incident.”
    Officers at the Colaba police station said that since the victim was not in a position to speak, they would wait to record his statement.  “We don’t know whether it was the BEST driver’s fault or not,” a police officer said. 
The Times of India, January 22, 2014

Cop in sex abuse case faces suspension

Police inspector Mahesh Jadhav

FIR Lodged Against Inspector 3 Months After Unnatural Sex Plaint By 2 Youths


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Proceedings for the suspension of an inspector accused of having unnatural sex were underway at the Chunabhatti police station, said an officer on Tuesday.
    Inspector Mahesh Jadhav was accused in October by two youths of calling them to his cabin at the Chunabhatti police station and sexually exploiting them while
dressed as a woman. Additional commissioner of police (east region) Quaiser Khalid said an FIR had been registered and papers recommending Jadhav’s suspension were being prepared to be sent to police commissioner Satya Pal Singh. 
“After going through the complaint, an assistant commissioner of police conduct
ed an inquiry and prima facie, we found substance in the allegations,” Khalid said.
    Salim Qureishi, a social worker who helped the victims bring the matter to the notice of the police, said he had been threatened, abused and even offered allurements by Jadhav’s colleagues to withdraw the complaint. 

    “Finally after three
months, there is an FIR,” Qureishi said.   Jadhav was booked under sections 377 (unnatural sex), 355 (assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person), 370 (buying or disposing of any person as a slave) and 503 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. 

    TOI reported the case in its October 24 edition, after the complainants approached the police.

    Two young men from Kurla had alleged that a crossdressing Jadhav had been sexually exploiting them for months.
    In a written complaint to the police, they said Jadhav forced them to come to his cabin at the police station, where he dressed up like a woman, danced in front of them, touched them inappropriately and had unnatural sex with them.

The Times of India, January 22, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spurned Delhi man puts city student’s profile on porn site

Girl Turned Down Neighbour’s Kin Visiting City In ’13


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The city’s cyber crime investigation cell (CCIC) detained a 21-year-old computer engineering student from New Delhi last week for allegedly posting a girl’s photos, personal details and mobile number on a porn website. However, the youth was let off after the girl refused to file an FIR on learning the culprit was a relative of her neighbours. 

    The 20-year-old instrumentation engineering student, went to the police after she started receiving obscene calls from across the country, as well as Canada, Australia and Singapore. Following her complaint, the crime branch set up a team led by inspector Mukund Pawar. Investigations revealed that the relatives of the accused lived in the same Chembur housing society as the complai
nant. The youth had befriended the girl last October when he visited Mumbai and proposed to her in November, but she turned him down. He returned to Delhi planning revenge. 

    In the last week of December, the girl panicked as she began receiving calls from ran
dom numbers. She asked one caller how he got her number and learnt that her contact details were put up on a porn website. She also learnt of the existence of a Facebook profile which she had never created.
    The girl then confided in her parents, who approached the cyber crime cell. Police requested the servers of the porn website and Facebook for IP addresses of the person who had posted her details. They were surprised to find both originated from the same Delhi-based address. While a police team picked up the youth from the capital last week, the web hosts were requested to block the two pages.
    The youth admitted to his crime but claimed he had no malicious intent and considered the girl to be his “sister”. The girl, traumatized on learning of the identity of the culprit, refused to file an FIR. The youth was later released after a warning. Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime) said, “Cyber space emboldens criminals due to the anonymity it offers. Yet, we are usually successful in bringing the culprits to book.” 

Nallasopara resident held for obscene calls, messages 

 A youth who sent vulgar SMSes and videos to women was arrested by the cyber police cell on Sunday. Nallasopara resident Shubam Rai (19), who did odd jobs after failing Class X, was sent to police custody. He also had three SIM cards procured using fake documents.
An Andheri-based fashion designer complained she was receiving obscene messages, calls and porn videos on her cell phone. When she would block a number, Rai would call from another one. Police tracked the call records to Nallasopara.
-S Ahmed Ali | TNN


Do not share your email ID with strangers
Do not share your personal mobile number
Keep checking your profile on social networking sites
Change passwords frequently
If you notice objectionable material on the internet, immediately approach the police
You may contact Mumbai police on 22621855, ask for the CCIC 
The Times of India, January 21, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

‘We were hoping to celebrate his 103rd birthday’


Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Mumbai: Much of south Mumbai was shrouded in white on Saturday as thousands of Dawoodi Bohras thronged the streets of the island city to pay obeisance to their 102-year-old spiritual leader Syedna Mohammed Burhannudin. Followers from as far as Malegaon, Jalgaon, Bhusawal, Navi Mumbai and even New Delhi flocked the city in the hope that they will catch a glimpse of their leader and pay their last respects to him. 

    Women and children were perched atop buildings and chawls lining Bhendi Bazaar to observe the solemn proceedings.   T h e wo m e n , dressed in hijab, recited prayers in Arabic praying for the Syedna’s soul. Some of them were even reading the holy Quran and praying for the souls of the people who had lost their lives in the stampede at the Syedna’s Malabar Hill residence early on Saturday morning. 

    Young boys (aged between five-10) were seen sitting on their father’s shoulders to see the long-winding procession.

    Bhendi Bazaar, which is usually abuzz with activity, was shrouded in silence as all roads leading to the area were shut between 12 noon to 2.30 pm. Bo
hri volunteers were deployed on streets to help people reach their respective destinations. 

    The Bohri community owns 70% of shops in Bhendi Bazaar. As a tribute to their leader, all of them had downed their shutters on Saturday.     As tears welled up in everybody’s eyes, some of the followers were talking about the great sermons that the Syedna had delivered. Shabbir Mamaji, a Bohri Muslim, who used to regularly attend
the religious leader’s discourses, said, “We have lost a great leader and the head of our community. It is a huge loss, no one can fill up his space. We don’t have words to express our grief.” 

    Ali Asgar, a student who had come from Navi Mumbai, said, “ The news came as a great shock for the entire community as all of us were eagerly waiting to celebrate the Syedna’s 103rd birthday which was slated to happen
in the next few weeks.” 

    The procession started at 9am from the Syedna’s Malabar Hill residence after a national flag was put on him and a police salute was given to him. 

    After over five hours, the procession reached Rautad Tahera mausoleum at Bhendi Bazaar where the departed leader was finally laid to rest. Just before the burial, community members offered zuhar namaaz and afterwards had a special namaz to pray for their revered leader.


Messages Caused Chaos

    Sources in the Bohri community said some people began sending text messages to their friends and families on Friday that they could come for the ‘deedar’ of the departed leader at Malabar Hill
    Around 35,000 to 40,000 people thronged the narrow lane leading to Saifee Mahal late at night, resulting in the stampede 
The Times of India, January 19, 2014

Cops, elite squads to be on their toes

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Tight security arrangements have been put in place for Sunday’s marathon. Cops have roped in anti-terror teams and sniffer dogs in view of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured more than 200. 
    “We have stepped up security during the last few days. There will be no relaxation of duties for personnel until the event is over,” said a source.
    Some personnel will be posted on watchtowers and nearly 180 plainclothes policemen will mingle with the crowd and keep an eye out for suspicious objects or miscreants. 
    “We have already got permission to set up CCTV cameras at certain spots, including Azad Maidan, Bandra fire station and the starting and finishing points of the race. Every movement will be monitored,” said a police officer managing the arrangements.
    Nearly 24 quick-response teams (commandos), over a dozen armoured vehicles, sniffer dogs and 13 bulletproof vehicles will be doing the rounds.
    “The special branch personnel will be busy gathering intelligence and we are ready to tackle any situation. We appeal to the citizens to maintain law and order and help us,” an officer said. The police have completed the verification process of more than 1,000 volunteers who will be working during the marathon. 
The Times of India, January 19, 2014

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bizman arrested for duping number plate firm of 46cr

Mateen Hafeez & S Ahmed Ali

Mumbai: The economic offences wing has arrested the promoter of a private firm for cheating another private firm that manufactures high security registration plates (HSRP) for vehicles. The complainant told the police that his firm has been cheated of around Rs 46 crore. The arrested accused, Ravi Somani, has been sent to police custody till January 18. 

    The EOW booked New Delhi resident Somani, promoter of Utsav Safety System Pvt Ltd, for cheating and criminal conspiracy. The police are yet to arrest representatives of
Utsav Safety—Brij Kumar, Anil Jhawadia and Shanti Sharma. 

    Complainant Pankaj Madan, a director with the Rosmart Tehnologies, said his firm is engaged in manufacturing the HSRP. Somani contacted Rosmart in 2011, asking for support in starting a joint business. Madan’s firm tied up with Somani’s firm to provide the raw material to him. In March 2013, the Delhi government floated a tender for which a minimum deposit of Rs 5 crore was required. Somani and Brij Kumar told Rosmart that they did not the
amount and asked Rosmart to start a joint venture, Rosmart SSRP Ventures Pvt Ltd, with them. In the new venture, Rosmart had 74% shares while Somani had 26% shares. The joint venture firm would manufacture blank plates and give it to the government. During 2012 and 2013, they made plates worth over Rs 45 crore. In Sept 2013, Brij Kumar told Rosmart that once they received funds, they will give it to Rosmart with interest. When it not do so, the complainant approached the police- 
The Times of India, January 18, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

MP jailbreak men on posters in city

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The city police recently issued new posters of the terror suspects who fled from a jail at Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh on October 1 after stabbing two constables and looting rifles and wireless sets. 

    The posters, now being displayed at many police stations, beat chowkies and important junctions, also have the photograph of Indian Mujahideen’s alleged founder Yasin Bhatkal, who has been in police custody for the past three months.
    Two other arrested persons, Indian Mujahideen operative Afzal Usmani and 2011 Opera House bomber Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, are on the poster.  “The posters are for citizens’ information,” an officer said. “Sometimes, we may get help from an alert citizen who recognizes any of the suspects.”
    A major section of the police force feels the poster display is a kind of psychological war. “Once they realize their photographs have been displayed across the city, they will not dare to enter the city with plans to commit terror strikes,” an officer said.
    The poster has photos of 13/7 bomb planter Tehsin Akhtar, his accomplice Wakkas Ahmed and six alleged SIMI members who fled from the MP jail. They are cityborn Abu Faizal, Aslam Khan alias Santosh, Mehboob alias Guddu, Amjad Khan, Zakir Hussain and Ejazuddin alias Raja.
    Unlike an earlier ATS poster, which announced a Rs 10 lakh reward for providing information on 
each of its four suspects, the city police did not announce any prize on the new poster.
Tehsin Akhtar and Wakkas Ahmed are wanted for planting bombs on July 13, 2011
    Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar are facing various terror cases in New Delhi, Bangalore and elsewhere
    Usmani is facing trial for stealing vehicles and sending terror emails. The vehicles were allegedly used in the July 2008 Gujarat bomb blasts
    Six other suspected SIMI members are accused of engineering blasts, attacking jail guards and stealing police wireless sets

The Times of India, January 16, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

3 SpeakAsia accused in fresh scam

Mateen Hafeez 

Mumbai: The city Economic Offences Wing (EOW), probing the multi-thousand crore Speak-Asia cheating case, has taken into custody three accused in a fresh case involving, Seven Rings International. They were arrested in November after being on the run for two years. 

    The arrested are SpeakAsia promoter Ram Sumiran Pal, his brother Ram Niwas and cousin Satish. “We are interrogating them,” said an officer when asked about their roles in the new case. They cheated several people for over Rs 1 crore in the Seven Rings case. Satish (36) played a major role in Seven Rings. He told the cops he came in contact with the Pals when he shifted to Mumbai in 2007 and joined their company, Seven Rings International. In 2011, when the scam was wrapped up, he escaped to Malaysia and settled down there with his family with his share of the scam money, the police said.
The Times of India, January 15, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

QNet scam: Police freeze bank account of actor’s son


Mumbai: The city economic offences wing (EOW), probing the alleged role of actor Boman Irani’s son Danesh in the Rs 425-crore cheating case involving multilevel marketing firm QNet, has frozen his bank account.
    “We are verifying what work Danesh had done for QNet. We will soon summon him,” said a police officer. “We have found one bank account wherein there is some cash and two connected fixed deposits. The total money is around Rs 25 lakh.” 

    The EOW has frozen several bank accounts belonging to QNet and its office-bearers, blocking a total of Rs 120 crore. 

    “We also found the financial transaction that took place in his account in 2013. The records show that Danesh had received around Rs 40 lakh from QNet and firms connected to QNet last year. We are checking if he has
more than one account,” said the officer. Police suspect the financial transaction in Danesh’s account may be over Rs 3 crore. 

    Sources close to Danesh refused to comment saying the matter was sub judice.
    Till date, the EOW has arrested nine persons for allegedly duping investors by selling products, such as magnetic disks, herbal products and holiday schemes. They all got bail. However, QNet officials’ claim that Dr Mohsin Ali, who is the President’s doctor, used their bio disc for treatment is yet to be verified.
    Complainant Gurupreet Singh Anand had informed the EOW about Danesh, provided his independent representative number, and a photograph of Boman Irani taken at a QNet event. “He had come there as a guest,” said an QNet official. 

    The EOW has written to the state law and judiciary department seeking appointment of special public prosecutors in the National Spot Exchange fraud and QNet cheating case trials.
Mateen Hafeez 

The Times of India, January 14, 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Muslim leader gets PETA award for stance against use of bullocks during procession

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: After TOI reported about Muslim spiritual leader Maulana Hazarat Moin Miya Ashraf’s move to oppose the use of bullocks in the Eid-e-Milad procession, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Wednesday decided to confer him a Hero to Animals Award. 

    “We commend Moin Miya’s stance on not using animals for processions—a position that is also on the right side of the law,” said Poorva Joshipura, PETA India CEO, and added, “Adherence to Moin Miya's advice will stop much unnecessary pain and suffering.”
    Moin Miya had told TOI: “Some participants in the procession use bullock carts and we have reports that at times bullocks are not fed regularly and are made to pull heavy loudspeakers. The Prophet loved animals. But in the procession, the animals are made to work long hours and people barely pay attention to their food and water. This practice should be stopped. We will not allow use of animals in the procession.”
    Around two lakh people participate in the procession in the city every year. It is scheduled on January 14 this year.
    PETA said the other recipients of Hero to Animals Award include actor Imran Khan for stopping dog abuse on his film set; Zarine Khan for rescuing a cat from the streets; Cyrus Broacha for refusing to perform a stunt that involved riding a bull; Rani Mukherjee for helping a dog in distress on her film set; Asin for saving a dog hit by a car; Sadaa Sayed for helping a puppy who just missed being hit by a car during a rainstorm; and Dia Mirza’s production house, Born Free Entertainment, for showing that homeless animals make wonderful addition to families. 
The Times of India, January 11, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Schoolteacher booked for thrashing kid

Mateen Hafeez & Shreya Bhandary TNN

Mumbai: A school teacher has been bookedby Gamdevi police for thrashing a five-year-old kindergarten student with a wooden cane for writing 13 instead of 31. 

    The police, who registered the FIR against the senior KG class teacher of St Columba High School on Thursday, said a case has been filed under section 324 (assault). “She has not been arrested yet. It’s a serious offence and we will write to the BMC authorities to inspect the school to avoid such incidents in future,” policesub-inspector Nitin Mahadik said.
    Founded in 1832, St Columba is the first school for girls in Mumbai.  As per the complaint filed by the girl’s parents,shewascaned so badly that welts appeared on her legs. A medical check has reportedly confirmed that she was hit with a blunt object. The girl has a 5x3cm patch and multiple bruise marks on her right and left calf besides both ankles. The incident reportedly took place on Tuesday and the girl told her parents about it on her return from school. 

    When TOI contacted the school authorities, a spokesperson refuted the allegations of the parents. “We have been informed about this incident and we have also interrogated the teacher. She has refuted the charges. It looks like the parents have made up all this,” the official said. The police complaint states the victim was beaten up in front of the entire class but her classmates had be en warned not to talk about it. 
The Times of India, January 10, 2014

SpeakAsia promoter booked in another fraud case

Ram Sumiran Pal

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The city Economic Offences Wing (EOW), probing the over Rs 2,000 crore SpeakAsia cheating case, has booked the firm’s promoter, Ram Sumiran Pal,in a fresh case. Currently in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail, Pal will be taken into police custody on Friday for his interrogation in another fraud case involving SpeakAsia’s sister concern, Seven RingsInternational. 

    Pal (36) was first arrested by theNewDelhi policeon November 26 last year from Dehradun and handed over to the MumbaiEOW.   Thecity policefirst arrested him in the SpeakAsia case. Later, he was sent to police custody for his alleged role in the fraud case involving Admatrix, another sister concernof SpeakAsia. 

    “This will be the third
time we will arrest Pal in a ponzi scheme fraud case, involving Seven Rings. We will also arrest his elder brother, Ram Niwas Pal, in the fresh case. Ram, too, is currently in Arthur Road jail,” said an EOW officer.

    Police have investigated Pal’s bank accounts. “Sofar,wehave found that he operated 13 bank accounts.More may emerge. Financial
transactions of more than Rs 125croretook placein justseven to eight months from four of his accounts. We are yet to start looking into nine other accounts,” said the officer.
    Theinvestors arestillhoping to get their money back and some of the accused have assuredthem they will return their money through a website meantfor SpeakAsia panelists.As per thescheme,each investor (panelist) would be given two surveys a week to complete on an annual fee of Rs 11,000. If the investor completed all surveys, he/she wouldbeentitledtoRs52,000 a year.Thefirmhadclaimedbig brands had given them contractsfor surveys. 

    Pal is the main planner of the ponzi scheme SpeakAsia, which left over 24 lakh investors poorer by over Rs 2,276 crore. Till date, 18 persons have been arrested in the scam. The police have frozen 215 bank accounts having morethan Rs141crore.
    Whileon the run in thelast two years, Pal had been shuttling between India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Dubai. “We want to find outwhofinancedhistrips and how he got so much money,” said an officer.Palhastwoflats and two shops in Mira Road, another shop in Andheri, has bought a plotof about40 acres in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh andwasin the processof buying some properties in Uttaranchal,theofficer added.

The Times of India, January 10, 2014

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Boman’s son under lens in QNet scam

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The economic offences wing (EOW) on Tuesday said it was investigating the role of film actor Boman Irani’s son, Danesh, in the QNet scam. 

    The police said they were going over Danesh’s bank account. The police said QNet, a multi-level marketing company, had duped people of more than Rs 425 crore by selling them items with “miraculous properties”. 

    The bank accounts of QNet, its independent representatives and associates, collectively holding a balance of Rs 110 crore, stand frozen.

    Gurupreet Singh Anand, the complainant, filed an application with additional commissioner of police (EOW) Rajvardhan Sinha asking the police to look at the role of Danesh and his father.
    “According to documents found, Danesh has earned substantial amount of money,” Sinha said. “We are investigating his role. His father has no role in this.”Anand said last year Boman had attended a promotional programme of QNet at a city mall.
    QNet spokesperson Ajay Chanam said: “Irani came to the programme as a guest. Danesh is our independent representative.” 
The Times of India, January 8, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

‘No bullock carts at Eid procession’

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Hazrat Moin Miya Ashraf, the spiritual leader of Muslims, has opposed the use of bullock carts in the Eid-e-Milad procession. Moin Miya, as he is known, said that use of animals in an inhuman manner is not allowed in Islam. 

    Eid-e-Milad will be celebrated globally on January 14 as the birthday of Prophet Mohammed. In the city, the procession begins from Khilafat House at Mazgaon, going from Byculla to Jacob Circle, Madanpura, Nagpada and ending near Haj House at Crawford Market.
    “More than two lakh people, mostly youngsters, participate in the procession on trucks, jeeps, cars and bikes. Several vehicles carry huge loudspeakers,” said Moin Miya. “Some use bullock carts and we have reports that at times the animals are not fed regularly and are made to pull heavy loudspeakers. The Prophet loved animals. But in the procession, the animals are made to work for long hours and people hardly pay attention to their food and water. This practice should be stopped. We will not allow use of animals in the procession,” he told TOI. This procession first began in 1922 in Mumbai. A meeting regarding the Eid-e-Milad procession was held in Mumbai on Sunday and attended by over two dozen people representing various localities in the town.
    Sarfaraz Aarzu, a trustee with the Khilafat House, said the animals should be taken care of and there should be proper arrangement for feeding them. As per law, an animal cannot be forced to work for more than two hours at a stretch. However, in this procession, animals walk carrying tones of loudspeakers and other equipment for more than five to six hours.
The Times of India, January 7, 2014

EOW files chargesheet in 56Kcr NSEL scam

Mateen Hafeez 

Mumbai:The city economic offences wing (EOW) on Monday filed a 9,000-page chargesheet against five accused in the Rs 5,574.35 crore cheating and criminal conspiracy case at National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL). FTIL founder, Jignesh Shah, who has not been arrested, was not chargesheeted. 

    Those chargesheeted in
clude Anjani Sinha, NSEL’s exmanaging director; Amit Mukherjee, ex-assistant vice-president of business development at NSEL; and Jai Bahukhandi, ex-assistant vice-president of warehousing at NSEL. The chargesheet has also named Nilesh Patel, MD of N K Proteins Ltd, and Arun Kumar Sharma, MD of Lotus Refineries Pvt Ltd. 

    “By filing the chargesheet within 90 days, we have denied the accused’s right for bail. The chargesheet contains list of documents recovered from the accused, details of stock and warehouses, list of 297 witnesses including complainant, Pankaj Saraf, our officers and investors. We will file a supplementary chargesheet soon,” said Hi
manshu Roy, joint commissioner (crime branch). He said the EOW had taken permission from the court to continue probe. The forward market commission that has made an escrow account has paid investors Rs 276.79 crore (5%) till date. Money in the escrow account comes from the 24 defaulters on weekly basis. 

The Times of India, January 7, 2014

ATS men snare three gangsters, recover arms


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The state anti-terrorism squad (ATS) on Sunday arrested three persons who were wanted in several cases, including murder, bank robbery and the recent firing incident on train in Nahur among others. 

    Those arrested were Shiva Shetty, Sairam Gangipelli and Guddu Shaikh, alias Munna. The ATS team comprising senior inspector Sukhlal Varpe, Ninad Sawant and Yogesh Chavan with their staff laid a trap in front of Reliance Energy office in Kandivli (W) and caught them with a pistol, one revolver, a hand 
gun machine and 10 live cartridges. They have been booked under the Arms Act. “We have arrested these accused who were wanted in a series of cases. Their interrogation is on,” said Rakesh Maria, ATS chief. The police said 22-year-old Munna was involved in 24 criminal cases, Shetty (20) in 12 cases and Gangipelli was involved in 12 cases. 

    On September 16, 2012, Shetty along with the other accused had followed Armogham Kounder in Kalwa and stabbed him with choppers for more than 45 times. Shetty was allegedly seeing Kounder’s daughter and the deceased had objected to this. On October 7, 2013 the trio had attacked Mogham Shetty with choppers over personal enmity. In December 2012, they looted gold worth Rs 15.96 lakh from a jewellery shop at Kanjurmarg, said the police. 
The Times of India, January 7, 2014