Duo extorts using gangster’s name, held

Mumbai: Oshiwara police arrested two men posing as Right to Information (RTI) activists and extorting money from people. Moreover, one of the accused also claimed to be a close aide of underworld don Chhota Shakeel.

The accused duo were arrested and booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Maharashtra Police Act for extortion.

Police said that the two arrested men identified as Amir Sadruq Khan Alias alias Ammu and Dinesh Chandrakant Ghodke alias Lotya, both residents of Behram Baug in Jogeshwari, had been conning people of lakhs of rupees under several pretexts.

The duo’s modus operandi was to look out for targets, mainly people working on repairs. They would then approach the victims and pose as RTI activists and then point out discrepancies in their work, subsequently threatening to report them to the civic officials in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The victim would fall prey to the con and cough up the extortion amount. However, when the target fails to budge, the duo would then go to plan B and threaten them by making a phone call to them, posing as a close aide of underworld don Chhota Shakeel.

Police said, the duo would demand extortion in the form of security money anywhere between Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh. They were using the same modus operandi since early 1990s.

A few months ago, the duo approached a Jogeshwari-based contractor and threatened to report his work’s discrepancies in an RTI to the BMC, thereby cancelling his license.

To keep the matter under wraps, they demanded an extortion of Rs 2.5 lakh, to which the complainant fell prey to budged. However, earlier this month, they demanded an extra Rs 2 lakh, to which the contractor refused to pay. Much to his surprise, the contractor got a phone call from Amir, claiming to be a close aide of Chhota Shakeel.

The complainant got scared and he approached Oshiwara Police. Police registered a complaint and arrested Amir and Dinesh on the basis of preliminary information. Police have seized a Fortuner car, a small knife and Rs 1 lakh in cash.

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