FPJ Exclusive: Mumbai ED Transfers ₹164 Crore Extortion Case To Delhi Counterpart; 2nd Such Transfer

FPJ Exclusive: Mumbai ED Transfers ₹164 Crore Extortion Case To Delhi Counterpart; 2nd Such Transfer

The city police has found several confidential documents of ED and sophisticated weapons with the arrested persons.

Ashish SinghUpdated: Friday, February 16, 2024, 11:53 AM IST
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Romi Bhagat |

The high-profile Rs 164 crore extortion racket has taken a new turn with the Enforcement Directorate transferring the case to its Delhi office even though the alleged offence has taken place in Mumbai.

The Mumbai police too is probing this case which allegedly involves an ED officer. The city police has found several confidential documents of ED and sophisticated weapons with the arrested persons.

The ED recently registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) and recorded the statement of the victim builder, Tarachand Mulchand Verma of Omkar Reality company. However, the involvement of the main accused, Romi Bhagat, has significantly complicated the matters for the agency. Bhagat is believed to have played a significant role in the extortion case. He is believed to be close several politicians, including those belonging a ruling party, and bureaucrats.

Second case to be transferred from Mumbai ED to its Delhi counterpart

This is the second case to be transferred from the Mumbai Enforcement Directorate (ED) to its Delhi counterpart.

Recently the ED transferred a money laundering probe related to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)’s former Mumbai zonal director, Sameer Wankhede, in the Aryan Khan case. The ED transferred the case to its Delhi office due to "administrative reasons" even though the Aryan Khan case took place in Mumbai. When contacted about the transfer of this second case of Fake ED officer extortion case from Mumbai ED to Delhi ED, officials stated that they are in the process of transferring the relevant case details to Delhi ED officials and will soon provide the reason for the transfer.

Searches at Romi Bhagat's residence in Bandra

During searches at Romi Bhagat's residence in Bandra, the Mumbai crime branch recovered case papers related to ED and EOW cases. Sources indicated that through his political connections, Bhagat had managed to settle several cases.

During the investigation, CCTV footage from Bhagat's residential premises revealed that the house help had left with six large suitcases, which were later traced. Upon opening the bags, officers discovered foreign weapons, 150 live bullets, jewelry, Indian and foreign currency, bank locker keys, and luxury watches. Additionally, one travel bag contained documents related to major corporate companies, including confidential papers, complaints, copies of several cases, FIRs, and agreements.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) was closely coordinating with the Mumbai Police to gather all the updates and details regarding the ongoing investigation.

In the midst of these developments, the Bandra police station received another complaint of extortion against Romi Bhagat, amounting to Rs 9 crore, as well as an expensive watch worth Rs 75 lakhs. The complaint was filed by Ajit Kerkar, the promoter of the travel firm Cox and Kings Limited (CNK). Kerkar was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police in a cheating case and by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case.According to the second FIR, Kerkar alleged that Bhagat, masquerading as an ED official, approached him with a false promise to extricate Kerkar from the money laundering case. Bhagat extorted Rs 9 crores.

After the second complaint, Crime branch officials immediately moved the magistrate court seeking Bhagat's production warrant from the judicial custody. On Thursday, they took Bhagat's custody and will produce him before the court on Friday.

Details of the first complaint

According to the first complaint filed by the victim builder Verma of Omkar Reality company, he was allegedly asked to resolve a dispute regarding the redevelopment of a property by paying Rs 164 crore to another builder, Satish Dhanuka, who was originally supposed to develop the property in Bandra. The builder claimed that during a meeting at a café, Dhanuka and other accused individuals threatened to file a case with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) if the amount was not paid.

During this meeting, Romi Bhagat allegedly represented himself as an ED officer, constantly speaking on the phone and giving the impression that he was acting on instructions from a senior ED officer. Dhanuka purportedly threatened the complainant on behalf of this alleged ED officer, even issuing threats against the complainant's family.

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