Thane: Couple arrested for trying to extort Rs 1 crore from IAS officer

Thane: The Anti Extortion Cell (AEC) of Thane Police caught red-handed a private detective and his wife from their rented house in Dombivali while accepting Rs 1 crore “extortion money” from an IAS officer who has been sent on leave pending an inquiry, a top police official said on Friday.

The arrested accused was handling the divorce case of the officer and tampered his conversational tapes. Detective Satish Mangle, his wife Shraddha Mangle and a friend named Anil VedMehata had demanded Rs 10 crore from IAS officer Radhesham Mopalvar at Kharegaon toll naka. Later, they demanded that the officer hand over the amount at Bhivandi and finally at the J.W.Marriott hotel, Mumbai. Initially, they demanded Rs 10 crore extortion, but later they settled at Rs 7 crore.

The first instalment of Rs 1 crore was accepted at Mangle’s Dombivali residence and the anti-extortion cell arrested the couple red-handed. Mangle works as a private detective and has three cases in various police station. One of which is a rape case, the other is extortion and one more is a CDR (Corporate Debt Restructuring) case.

The police have seized two laptops, 5 mobile handsets, 4 pen drives, 15 CDs from his house. Also the police have seized the tampered tapes of Mopalvar that contained his voice and videos. Mopalvar had complained that the videos and audio tapes have been tampered and Mangale had threatened him.

After the complaint, anti-extortion cell arrested the couple from their home. There are two more accused to be arrested in this case, police informed.

Thane Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said, “Mangle had threatened Mopalwar that he and his daughter will have to face consequences if he did not pay the money. He had used the name of the Gawli gang to threaten the officer. We are looking into whether he’s part of any gang. He already has few cases against him. We are also investigating whether he is involved in some other extortion cases.”

Mangle, a private detective, came in contact with Mopalwar, when the latter sought his help in his divorce-related issue, the official said. While working on the issue, Mangle had made some call recordings after which Mangle had demanded extortion from Mopalwar and provided some audio clips to the news channels which were aired later, he said.

“Mangle and his wife made some serious allegations of corruption against Mopalwar and were contacting politicians, mediapersons in this connection, after which he demanded Rs 10 crore to withdraw all the allegations of corruption and to return the audio clips,” a Thane police official said. The police have booked the couple and are looking out for more people involved in the extortion case.

In August this year, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had removed Mopalwar as the vice-chairman and managing director of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), following a row over audio clips, in which the official was purportedly heard fixing a deal for a plot.

Detective Satish Mangle, his wife Shraddha Mangle and a friend named Anil VedMehata had demanded Rs 10 crore from IAS officer Radhesham Mopalvar. Initially, they demanded Rs 10 crore extortion, but later they settled at Rs 7 crore.

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