Friday, May 15, 2015

Film co heads floated bogus firms, made clerks `directors'

Probe In Rs 824-Cr Cheating Case Still On: EOW 


Mateen Hafeez

Mumbai: Investigations into the Rs 824 crore cheating case involving the directors of Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd, one of Bollywood's largest production and distribution firms, have revealed that the directors had floated five bogus firms and appointed their clerks and even a clerk's wife as directors of these bogus firms. As much as Rs 296 crore was deposited in these firms.

Last month, the city economic offences wing (EOW) arrested Dhilon Mehta (33), managing director of Ashtavinayak, and his father Harshad Mehta (57). Eight people have been arrested in the case so far. Ashtvinayak has produced Hindi movies like Jab We Met, Bol Bachchan, Gol Mal etc. The complainant, Tejpal Shah, told police the firm's directors raised funds for their business, cheated shareholders and siphoned off funds.Shah is a film distributor and possessed distribution rights of some Ashtvinayak films.

Police said the accused raised funds in India and abroad to make films. “It's a lengthy investigation and we are going in the right direction.Those found involved will be dealt with strictly ,“ said Dhananjay Kamalakar, joint commissioner, EOW .

“After raising money in India and abroad, the accused directors floated five fake companies and appointed their clerks, bamboo supplier, godown keeper, and a clerk's wife as director of these firms. The money was diverted into the firms. So far we have found Rs 60 crore was diverted to Suyujit Enterprizes, Rs 16 crore to Century Pictures, Rs 79 crore to E-Force India Ltd, Rs 95 crore to Armaan Enterprizes and Rs 45 crore to V K Entertainment. The employee-directors are all from Rajkot and Ahmedabad. Their statements have been recorded before the magistrate and will be used as evidence against the accused,“ said an officer. In their statements, the directors of the fake companies told cops they were paid between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 to sign the papers.

The accused had said the five firms had been financed to make films and even made agreements with these companies. Meanwhile, a subsidiary firm, Ashtvinayak Cine Vision FZE, was floated in Dubai. It did agreements with international firms for film production. FZE paid Rs 444 crore to the international firms for this purpose. The complainant, who was to receive Rs 41 crore from Ashtavinayak, got cheques. While cheques of Rs 5 crore were honoured, cheques amounting to Rs 36 crroe bounced. He approached the court and the Company Law Board after the firm refused to return his dues.The committee formed by the law board found the firm had raised funds through foreign equity convertible bonds. Inspector Prakash Bagal is probing the case.

The case was referred to the EOW and an FIR was registered in September 2014. “The firm claimed to have invested money in foreign films. However, no movie was completed or even started,“ the officer said.


E-fraudster's ac frozen in a day after CM aide loses Rs 64K

Investigators Show Alacrity In VIP Case 


 Mumbai: Perhaps it helps to be the chief minister's personal secretary if you are the victim of a cyber fraud.Mumbai police, in a rare display of alacrity , traced a bank where Rs 64,000 siphoned off from Maharashtra CM's personal secretary Vivek Bhimanwar's account was transferred. Within a day, the police managed to get the account in Kolkata bank frozen.

Bhimanwar, who stays in Worli, complained to the police about a cyber fraud. He told the Worli police that some unidentified caller had taken his bank account details from him and one-time password (OTP) and used it to transfer Rs 64,000 from his ICICI bank account to another account.
A police officer said, “Soon after beginning the probe, we found the money had been transferred to an account in Axis bank in Kolkata or Bihar. A police officer with the copies of the FIR met the nodal office of Axis Bank in Mumbai and requested them to freeze the account of the accused person. It was done within hours.“ A police team is preparing to leave for Kolkata to trace the accused. While speaking over the phone on the night of May 12, the accused told Bhimanwar that they were confirming information of all customers and updating the Know Your Customer (KYC) data.For this, the accused sought the bank account details of Bhimanwar and even asked him to share his one-time password. Bhimanwar was initially reluctant to share his bank account details but the accused allegedly threatened to close the account.“We have begun the process to get the call data record (CDR) of the suspected mobile number from where Bhimanwar received the call to find out if its location was in Mumbai on that day. The number belongs to some other state but it's also possible that the accused was in Mumbai at that time. We are waiting for some reports before taking the next step,“ the officer said.

Unaware of the suspected fraud, Bhimanwar shared his password with the caller.Later, he received a message on his cellphone, stating that Rs 64,000 had been debited to his bank account.

“This was the time when he realized that someone had cheated him. Bhimanwar approached the police. The cops immediately registered an FIR under sections of the Information Technology Act and are probing the case. No arrest has been made yet,“ said the officer.
Banks often appeal to customers not to share their bank account details with unidentified callers.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cops know I sell buffalo meat: Butcher


Mumbai: Akram Qureshi, he first trader to be arrested in Mumbai for allegedly selling beef, on Wednesday said he was selling buffalo meat and he police have known about his business for years.
“What's my crime? I receive my material from the Deonar abattoir. It's a tactic to harass small people like me,“ he sa d. Qureshi (56) has been told by the Worli police to wind up his business since “he does not have a licence“. The police say Qureshi has been selling meat or six months, but residents of BDD chawl no. 16, where Qureshi lives and has shop, contradict this claim. They say he is a second-generation butcher.

Police seized 29kg of animal flesh from his shop. “We have sent the meat to the government's veterinary doctor at Parel. He will carry out a DNA test. We will decide on our course of action based on he report,“ said senior inspec or Vinay Kulkarni of the Wor i police station. He said Qureshi had produced a buyer's receipt for the meat that was not accepted as it was not in his name. Qureshi said the dealer delivers meat to many shopkeepers in the area and does not give receipts individually .

He said he had approached he BMC in 2012 for a license, but they did not issue it. “I was hen summoned by the Worli police and after verification hey allowed me to go. Cops have known about my business for years.“

If the DNA test result is positive for beef, the police may slap section 5 of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Amendment) Act that prohib ts the sale, purchase or disposal of cows, bulls or bullocks. The maximum punishment is a five-year jail term and a fine of Rs 10,000. Recently, the Bombay high court directed the state not to take any coercive action till the final hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging the ban takes place on June 25.

The complaint against Qureshi was filed by Bharti Gau Vansh Rakshan Samvardhan Parishad member Sharad Gupta, who lives in Worli and is a lecturer at Mulund College of Commerce. With the arrest of meat trader Akram Qureishi for allegedly selling beef (he insists it was buffalo and not cow meat), other merchants in the city said their worst fears have come true.

While criticizing the cops for not following the spirit of April 29 high court order, which prevented the state from prosecuting anyone in possession of beef from March 4, the day the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act was enforced, till July 29, the merchants have also pulled up those beef sellers who violate the law.

“Akram Qureishi, who worked with me for years before he opened his own shop in Worli, insists that he sold buffalo meat, which is not banned. We have been saying it ever since the Act was enforced that it would become a tool in the hands of Hindutva forces and the cops to harass beef merchants. Till the HC decides the matter, the court has said the state cannot prosecute anyone for beef possession,“ said Mohammed Ali Qureishi, presi dent, Mumbai Beef Dealers' Welfare Association.

“We have warned merchants against violating the law, but due to poor education they are unable to understand the legal provisions,“ added Mohammed Ali Qureishi. There are around 900 licensed shops in the city while beef is sold and around the same number of unlicensed establishments.

Asif Qureishi, a beef merchant at Crawford Market, said that the law was brought in without finding alternative jobs for those who were rendered jobless.

Can't prosecute yet, states HC order
A division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice M S Sonak, said: “Possession of the beef (from March 4, when the Act came into force till July 29 or till the HC finally decides the legality of the law) is not prosecutable by the state...The state and police authorities shall not invade a citizen's privacy to find out if they possess beef or any other form of meat.“


CM's secy falls prey to e-con, Rs 64,000 gone from bank ac

Mateen Hafeez

  Mumbai: CM Devendra Fadnavis's personal secretary recently fell victim to cyber fraud when Rs 64,000 was siphoned off his bank account. Interestingly , the accused called up the victim, Vivek Bhimanwar, and asked him for a one-time password that had been sent to his mobile, before debiting the amount.
The police said that Bhimanwar, a Worli resident, had lodged a cheating case on Tuesday . Bhimanwar recently received a call from a person, who introduced himself as an employee of a bank where he has an account.The accused told Bhimanwar that they were verifying customers and updating Know Your Customer details. The caller asked Bhimanwar for his account details and for the one-time password. Initially Bhimanwar was reluctant to share details, but gave in after the accused threatened to close the account.

Unaware of the fraud, Bhimanwar shared his details and password with the caller. Later, he received a message on his cellphone, stating that Rs 64,000 was debited from his account.“It was after the SMS that he realized he had been cheated. Bhimanwar then approached the police. An FIR was immediately registered under sections of the Information Technology Act.No arrests have been made yet,“ said an officer.

Former CM's help robbed of cellphone
A domestic help of former CM Prithviraj Chavan was robbed of his cellphone worth Rs 8,500 by a taxi driver near INS Trata in Worli-Koliwada on Monday. The incident occurred when the victim, Vikas Pansare, alighted from the taxi and was about to pay the fare. The police said that the driver snatched his phone and sped away.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

STAIN 0N KHAKI - Suspended DIG charge-sheeted for model's rape

Paraskar Trial Slated To Start A Month From Now 

Mumbai: The Crime Against Women (CAW) cell of the city police on Tuesday filed a 724page charge sheet against suspended IPS officer Sunil Paraskar for allegedly raping a 29-year-old model.
“We have 59 witnesses in the case,“ said DCP Namdeo Chavan, head, CAW. The police had earlier served Paraskar a notice, asking him to be present in court during the charge sheet's submission. Accordingly , Paraskar was present in the Borivli magistrate's court on Tuesday . The FIR against him had been registered nine months ago. Senior police officers were tight-lipped about the contents of the charge sheet and also refused to say anything about the model's medical examination report. Her statement had been earlier recorded before a magistrate.

A source said that as evidence, the police have submitted the logbook of Paraskar's official car. Maintained by his driver, it mentions his movements, said a police officer.Then, there are records of Paraskar's text messages and emails. The police have also attached the statement of the caretaker of a Madh Island bungalow, who told the police he remembered a November 2013 visit of the model, along with Paraskar.

In July 2014, the model alleged that Paraskar (57) had sexually assaulted her on two occasions in December 2013.She said she met Paraskar first in 2012, when he was additional commissioner of police (north region), concerning a case. On the model's complaint, the police registered a case against Paraskar at Malwani police station and booked him under sections 376-2 (rape by a police officer), 376 C (intercourse by superintendent of jail, remand home, etc) and 354-D (stalking) of the Indian Penal Code.

The Borivli magistrate has transferred the case to the sessions court. The trial will begin on June 12. Earlier, the sessions court had granted anticipatory bail to Paraskar, observing that “from the behaviour of the complainant and the accused, the matter appears to be consensual“.But in a departmental inquiry, Paraskar was found guilty of professional misconduct.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

POLICE ON ARRESTED PAK FISHERMEN - `8 on heroin boat not smugglers'

Mateen Hafeez I TNN


The Yellow Gate police station, where the seizure of 232 kg of heroine worth Rs 600 crore in the international market from a Pakistani boat was investigated, has said that the eight occupants of the boat were not smugglers.
“They were not smugglers but fishermen who didn't know about the contents of the containers in which the heroin was hidden,“ a police officer said on Monday . The finding may weaken the police case against the eight Pakistanis, who have been slapped with various sections of the IPC, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and maritime laws and are lodged in Arthur Road Jail.
“The accused are fishermen,“ the police officer said.“They were paid Rs 10,000 each for delivering small containers to another boat in the Arabian Sea. They never opened the containers and didn't even know the names of the people who were to take delivery .“

A security establishment insider said the boat which was supposed to receive the con signment, Al-Yasir, did not turn up after the fishermen's boat was intercepted. The coast guard and the navy had intercepted the Pakistani boat on April 20. The heroin packets were hidden in plastic cans. Three satellite phones and GPS were also found. The latest communication system was used to facilitate transshipment of the contraband to another boat, said coast guard sources. The apprehended boat was brought to Porbandar.

“A fisherman, Shaukat Ali, had given them the consign ment,“ the officer said. “ Ali is in-charge of two fishing boats in Pakistan. The eight fishermen left the Ibrahim Hyderi port near Karachi with 11 containers, all with heroin. Ali had given three satellite phones to the eight fishermen. Ali had made several calls to them and told them they would receive a call from the other party and some people will come on the boat to take the delivery.“
The arrested are Alibakhsh Allahbakhsh (30), G Siddique (40), Bakhsh Natho (40), Gulshan Maulabakhsh (30), Yunus Sutar (35), Mohmmad Yusuf (40), Mohmmad Ahmed (28), Maqsood Akhtar.


COPS CLARIFY - No police NOC required to rent out house

Mateen Hafeez

MUMBAI: The city police on Tuesday clarified that a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the police is not required to rent out your house. However, senior officials said that it was mandatory to submit details of tenants at the local police station.

 “This step has been taken to make the procedure easier for ten ants and owners. There had been several complaints of estate agents spreading rumours about a police NOC being mandatory and some of them had also been collecting money for the same. We never sought any NOC. We just want the tenant's information to be submitted,“ said Deven Bharti, joint commissioner of police, responsible for city's law and order.

“If you have a tenant or have rented a flatroom, you can simply send us the details either in person, by courier or through registered post. The confusion has been created by estate agents,“ added Bharti.

The police have also issued a format for submission of the information, which includes the flatroom owner's name, address, contact numbers, address of the rented property , tenant's name, previous address, native place address, contact numbers, email address, photo identification, one passport-size photo, address of hisher work place and a letter of verification from the employer.The police have also sought deatils of the agent, in case the property is rented through one.


MODEL'S RAPE - Chargesheet against Paraskar to be filed today


A chargesheet against Indian Police Service officer Sunil Paraskar (57), who has been accused of raping a 29-year-old model, will be filed on Tuesday before the special women's court. Evidence has been found against Paraskar, said a police source. Head of the crime branch, Atulchandra Kulkarni, said: “We will file the chargesheet on Tuesday before the court.“ The filing of the chargesheet assumes significance against the backdrop of the policemen from Saki Naka confining and molesting another 29-year old model last month.
Another police officer said that they have evidence that rape has taken place. In July 2014, the model had alleged that Paraskar had molested and sexually assaulted her on two occasions in 2013.
“We have several witnesses who names cannot be identified now,“ said the officer.Earlier, the police had taken statements of a caretaker of a bungalow in Madh who confirmed to the police that the model had visited the bungalow with Paraskar. The crime against women cell is probing the rape case against Paraskar who is now under suspension.--

Mateen Hafeez